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atari-man
February 13th, 2004, 07:32 AM
New ATARI 8-bit owners (or those that need advice) should subscribe to the newsgroup: comp.sys.atari.8bit
This is the most active newsgroup on the net, and is regularly visited by many very experienced ATARI users.
Look for the message "Welcome to comp.sys.atari.8bit" from Michael Current, and try out some of the links.
The link to the FAQ's (under Information) is the most useful one for beginners.

CP/M User
February 13th, 2004, 01:58 PM
"atari-man" wroute:

> This is the most active newsgroup on
> the net, and is regularly visited by
> many very experienced ATARI users.

Could you send them here too?

We need more experienced ATARI users
here as well.

Cheers,
CP/M User.

Micom 2000
June 25th, 2004, 06:14 PM
It would be nice if more Atari owners were posting questions here.
I've been an Atari freak many years now initially because of the STs
reputation in the music community. I was a fervent user of the TAF BBS
in the early years trying to get as much info as possible on using my Atari STF. And fending off accusations of "cheapness" since I was using a Supra 2400 modem (I had paid $100 for it). by the sys-op when his sights were on 14400 modems and I had dared to complain about his configurations.
I fervently awaited each monthly publication (and the around $10 cost which I could ill-afford) of the 3 main Atari ST mags with their s-w sample disks. My main Atari now is a Mega 4 ST with which I use mainly a Syquest
SCSI EZ 135.

My Atari ST led me to "just" collecting Atari's and then to wider collecting, the ramifications of which still afflict me. But it was Sam Tramiel who first
inflicted this upon me And as he sits comfortably aging in his mansion on the California coast garnered from his sale to Hasbro, I say the mantra of
all Atari (and Commodore ?) addicts

CURSE YOU, TRAMIEL, CURSE YOU.

CP/M User
July 3rd, 2004, 01:49 AM
"Micom 2000" wrote:

> My Atari ST led me to "just" collecting Atari's and
> then to wider collecting, the ramifications of which
> still afflict me.

As an Atari user, do you hate the way Atari treat machines
like their consoles & early machines? Or are you more into
their later machines?

I have an Atari 2600 & 7800, while the 2600 got many
games, the later can't be said for the 7800 (even though
it can play 2600 games). The Atari XE (a computerized
version of the 7800), was dumped from Atari when 16bits
seemed to be the next best thing. Course their ST was
the first thing out, it might be a nice machine, but for
people who owned a XE, I've got this impression that Atari
bined it all too soon. 3RD party software companies didn't
seem to support it (well not the ones who did software for
the C64, Spectrum, CPC). In my impression the XE is better
than a CPC for games, due to it's hardware compatibilities.

Cheers,
CP/M User.

Postal Patron
October 1st, 2004, 03:13 PM
Here's the website:
http://www.faqs.org/faqs/atari-8-bit/welcome/

97jedi
October 22nd, 2004, 06:57 PM
Thanks for that link, gents! :D

atarimuseum
December 29th, 2004, 12:26 PM
New ATARI 8-bit owners (or those that need advice) should subscribe to the newsgroup: comp.sys.atari.8bit
This is the most active newsgroup on the net, and is regularly visited by many very experienced ATARI users.
Look for the message "Welcome to comp.sys.atari.8bit" from Michael Current, and try out some of the links.
The link to the FAQ's (under Information) is the most useful one for beginners.

Newsgroups? Blah... Google can keep its "groups", message boards like this and the Atari computer forums on atariage.com are far more friendly and much more useful and productive.



Curt

CP/M User
April 22nd, 2005, 04:57 PM
"Postal Patron" wrote:

> Here's the website:
> http://www.faqs.org/faqs/atari-8-bit/welcome/

I knew there was a reason as to why I don't go there:

Quoted from that link is this passage of text:


Welcome to the comp.sys.atari.8bit newsgroup!

You've found the Usenet newsgroup for discussion about the Atari 8-bit
family of computers! These include the 400, 800, 1200XL, 600XL, 800XL,
65XE, 130XE, 800XE, and the XE Game System. Atari (based in Silicon Valley,
California, USA) produced this line of computers from 1979-1992.


If they aren't prepared to show support for the consoles, then I won't have any discussion's there.

Instead they do this:



RELATED NEWSGROUPS:
alt.binaries.atari
alt.binaries.atari.d
alt.binaries.comp.atari8bit
comp.emulators.misc
comp.emulators.announce Moderated.
comp.sys.atari.advocacy
comp.sys.atari.announce Moderated by Kevin Savetz.
`- comp.sys.atari.announce Web Page: http://www.atariarchives.org/csaa/
comp.sys.atari.programmer
rec.games.video.atari
rec.games.video.classic


While Atari 2600s, 5200s & 7800s are consoles, they are still 8bit systems. It generally troubles me that the XE games system is accepted.

CP/M User.

Micom 2000
April 22nd, 2005, 09:49 PM
As an old Atari user and the owner of an Atari EXGS
and considering the # of 2600, 5200, and 7800s that were sold
it is perfectly understandable.

The focus of the newsgroup was on computers, not gaming systems.
It would have been completely swamped with questions about the
latest games, cheats, and why their cartridge wasn't working on their
2600. C'mon it has been an outstanding forum for 8-bit Ataris for years.
One of the most successfull newsgroups on the internet. Would you
have liked it or would members of Comp.sys.cpm tolerated any successful CPM games from dominating its group ?

There used to be many other newsgroups dedicated to 8-bit game
machines, so their inclusion on the group would have only served to
drive the people who loved it as a computer medium away.

CP/M User
April 23rd, 2005, 01:07 AM
"Micom 2000" wrote:

> As an old Atari user and the owner of an Atari EXGS
> and considering the # of 2600, 5200, and 7800s that were sold
> it is perfectly understandable.

The main concern of those machines is the Atari 2600 (or VCS), it was the one of Atari's Strengths, while the 5200 is a reasonible console, it didn't share the support for 2600 games - which lead to the 7800 which did & though didn't have many of it's own games. Numbers would have been drawn to the 2600 though - but so what Numbers are good because it boost's knowledge.

> The focus of the newsgroup was on computers, not gaming systems.

So it would be a shock to know that an 7800 -could- be developed into a serious computer system with Keyboard & Disk Drive, aparantly is was quite an extradinary feat which was done when the 7800 was reasonibly new (unforunately it didn't last & I believe it was a 3rd party who developed this).

> It would have been completely swamped with questions about the
> latest games, cheats, and why their cartridge wasn't working on their
> 2600. C'mon it has been an outstanding forum for 8-bit Ataris for years.
> One of the most successfull newsgroups on the internet. Would you
> have liked it or would members of Comp.sys.cpm tolerated any
> successful CPM games from dominating its group ?

The issue of any successful games being developed on CP/M would have created a sub-group indicating it's a group for a discussion about a game for CP/M. As it is, we get many people from different CP/M Systems discussing in there & we generally except that since we know they have no place else to go (except perhaps alt.computers.folklore - which is full of many people from many backgrounds). But I see having those groups as a mean's of having a community which visit out of interest & build knowledge for what they know, not some group devised of one guy who runs the show & his community members. I feel that people who have questions should also share their knowledge for those in need of it.

> There used to be many other newsgroups dedicated to 8-bit game
> machines, so their inclusion on the group would have only served to
> drive the people who loved it as a computer medium away.

I see having too many groups creates more fragmentation, you get people here, people there & people who don't even know where to go! I agree that when something in the newgroups name doesn't add up, they don't essentially belong, this works in the case of comp.sys.amstrad.8bit. People assumed that IBM based Amstrad's were a part of this group, since they had no knowledge about the 8bit Amstrads, fair mistake. I guess there's this funny way of thinking that games consoles are a part of Recretation, but for some reason it doesn't feel like it! ;-)

Hence my disapproval for these groups:
rec.games.video.atari
rec.games.video.classic

CP/M User.

animekenji
November 11th, 2005, 11:12 AM
It would be nice if more Atari owners were posting questions here.
I've been an Atari freak many years now initially because of the STs
reputation in the music community. I was a fervent user of the TAF BBS
in the early years trying to get as much info as possible on using my Atari STF. And fending off accusations of "cheapness" since I was using a Supra 2400 modem (I had paid $100 for it). by the sys-op when his sights were on 14400 modems and I had dared to complain about his configurations.
I fervently awaited each monthly publication (and the around $10 cost which I could ill-afford) of the 3 main Atari ST mags with their s-w sample disks. My main Atari now is a Mega 4 ST with which I use mainly a Syquest
SCSI EZ 135.

My Atari ST led me to "just" collecting Atari's and then to wider collecting, the ramifications of which still afflict me. But it was Sam Tramiel who first
inflicted this upon me And as he sits comfortably aging in his mansion on the California coast garnered from his sale to Hasbro, I say the mantra of
all Atari (and Commodore ?) addicts

CURSE YOU, TRAMIEL, CURSE YOU.

The Tramiel family is responsible for the ruin of more computer and video game manufacturers than just Atari. It was Jack Tramiel, while he was head of Commodore, who initiated the price wars that caused every manufacturer of home computers to bleed red to the tune of billions. Texas Instruments was the hardest hit with losses of over $650 million followed by Atari with losses of over $500 million. This was just in 1983 alone! Smaller firms with less resources just folded or pulled out of the US market. Only Apple and IBM survived unscathed since they refused to sully themselves by engaging in a price war with an upstart. After Tramiel and sons were ousted from Commodore, they bought Atari for a song and set out on a course of vengeance against Commodore which resulted in both companies demise. Again, there were more victims than just Atari and Commodore in this round and pretty much everyone who took part in the home computer revolution of the late 70's and early 80's was wiped out leaving us with only PC clones and Macs. True innovation and choice in home computers died largely because of Jack Tramiel.

animekenji
November 11th, 2005, 11:39 AM
"Micom 2000" wrote:

> My Atari ST led me to "just" collecting Atari's and
> then to wider collecting, the ramifications of which
> still afflict me.

As an Atari user, do you hate the way Atari treat machines
like their consoles & early machines? Or are you more into
their later machines?

I have an Atari 2600 & 7800, while the 2600 got many
games, the later can't be said for the 7800 (even though
it can play 2600 games). The Atari XE (a computerized
version of the 7800), was dumped from Atari when 16bits
seemed to be the next best thing. Course their ST was
the first thing out, it might be a nice machine, but for
people who owned a XE, I've got this impression that Atari
bined it all too soon. 3RD party software companies didn't
seem to support it (well not the ones who did software for
the C64, Spectrum, CPC). In my impression the XE is better
than a CPC for games, due to it's hardware compatibilities.

Cheers,
CP/M User.

Atari messed up badly with the 7800. Jack Tramiel had no interest in video games when he bought the company, which was why he didn't buy the arcade division. When the NES was released and became wildly popular, he tried to revive the 7800 project that he cancelled shortly after taking over. Unfortunately, because Tramiel had NOT included the arcade division in his buyout of Atari, he had no ready source of new games to convert to the 7800 so Atari ended up rehashing all their old classics from the 2600 and 5200 so they wouldn't have to spend money acquiring new licenses. In contrast, Nintendos arcade division was very much in full swing with many popular games in arcades all over the world. They also were acquiring licenses to games they didn't own at a fevered pitch and by the time Atari finished re-releasing the games they already held licenses to, the best games were already taken by Nintendo. Nintendo also had many third party developers onboard for the NES. I don't think I have ever heard of a third party title ever being released for the 7800 until a couple of years ago when someone finally managed to crack the security scheme in the 7800 that kept unlicensed games off the system. The only source for 7800 games was Atari, and they weren't up to the task of supplying them. The 7800 and NES were on a technical par with each other, so the problem wasn't in the hardware. There were things the NES did a little better and things the 7800 did a little better, but not enough to clearly say that one machine was far and away better than the other, it was just that Tramiel bungled the 7800 so badly.

animekenji
November 11th, 2005, 12:05 PM
Oops duplicate post. See below.

animekenji
November 11th, 2005, 12:10 PM
"Postal Patron" wrote:

> Here's the website:
> http://www.faqs.org/faqs/atari-8-bit/welcome/

I knew there was a reason as to why I don't go there:

Quoted from that link is this passage of text:


Welcome to the comp.sys.atari.8bit newsgroup!

You've found the Usenet newsgroup for discussion about the Atari 8-bit
family of computers! These include the 400, 800, 1200XL, 600XL, 800XL,
65XE, 130XE, 800XE, and the XE Game System. Atari (based in Silicon Valley,
California, USA) produced this line of computers from 1979-1992.


If they aren't prepared to show support for the consoles, then I won't have any discussion's there.

Instead they do this:



RELATED NEWSGROUPS:
alt.binaries.atari
alt.binaries.atari.d
alt.binaries.comp.atari8bit
comp.emulators.misc
comp.emulators.announce Moderated.
comp.sys.atari.advocacy
comp.sys.atari.announce Moderated by Kevin Savetz.
`- comp.sys.atari.announce Web Page: http://www.atariarchives.org/csaa/
comp.sys.atari.programmer
rec.games.video.atari
rec.games.video.classic


While Atari 2600s, 5200s & 7800s are consoles, they are still 8bit systems. It generally troubles me that the XE games system is accepted.

CP/M User.

Actually, the XEGS qualifies as an 8-bit because it is just a 65XE internally with the keyboard seperated from the CPU. The XEGS game cartridges can also be inserted into an XL/XE computer and run directly with no mods needed. The others are considered consoles because their architecture is different. I consider the 5200 to be almost an exception to this, though. The 5200 was sprung from the 400/800 home computer line just as the XEGS was birthed from a 65XE. The cartridges don't work in a 400/800, but the only internal difference between a 5200 and 400/800 is a few memory locations. I used to have a disk years ago that I downloaded from a BBS containing 5200 games that had been modded to run on an 800. Just leech a copy of the executable off the cart with an EPROM reader, change the memory references that need changing, save to a format that the computer can read and bingo! Actually, it is possible that the 5200 carts MAY use the same boards as the 400/800 carts. I read in another forum thread once about someone who cracked open a 5200 cart, and the board inside is tiny, so I am thinking that they used the 400/800 cart boards but used a big plastic shell around it so nobody would catch on that they were the same. The 7800 has some similarities to the computer line, but it also has unique chips like the MARIA which are not found in any Atari computer. The cartridges are also unique, and won't plug in to any Atari computer, being styled after the 2600 slot. The 2600 also pre-dates the 400/800 by I think 2 years or so, so you can't call it an 8-bit the term 8-bit had not been coined yet. The term 8-bit came about at the time that the ST was released. Prior to the ST, there was only one family of Atari computers, all 6502 based. When you referred to Atari computers, everyone knew what you meant. When the 16-bits were released, it muddled things. To save confusion the terms 8-bit and 16-bit were created to describe the different computer families. Surprisingly, the Falcon030 and TT030 are not normally referred to as 32-bits, despite the fact that the 68030 is a 32 bit chip.They are usually lumped in with the 16-bit machines, probably because neither was produced in the same quantity as the 68000 based systems.

Terry Yager
November 11th, 2005, 12:34 PM
...8-bits didn't exist yet.

Excuse me???

--T

animekenji
November 11th, 2005, 12:50 PM
"Micom 2000" wrote:

> As an old Atari user and the owner of an Atari EXGS
> and considering the # of 2600, 5200, and 7800s that were sold
> it is perfectly understandable.

The main concern of those machines is the Atari 2600 (or VCS), it was the one of Atari's Strengths, while the 5200 is a reasonible console, it didn't share the support for 2600 games - which lead to the 7800 which did & though didn't have many of it's own games. Numbers would have been drawn to the 2600 though - but so what Numbers are good because it boost's knowledge.

> The focus of the newsgroup was on computers, not gaming systems.

So it would be a shock to know that an 7800 -could- be developed into a serious computer system with Keyboard & Disk Drive, aparantly is was quite an extradinary feat which was done when the 7800 was reasonibly new (unforunately it didn't last & I believe it was a 3rd party who developed this).

> It would have been completely swamped with questions about the
> latest games, cheats, and why their cartridge wasn't working on their
> 2600. C'mon it has been an outstanding forum for 8-bit Ataris for years.
> One of the most successfull newsgroups on the internet. Would you
> have liked it or would members of Comp.sys.cpm tolerated any
> successful CPM games from dominating its group ?

The issue of any successful games being developed on CP/M would have created a sub-group indicating it's a group for a discussion about a game for CP/M. As it is, we get many people from different CP/M Systems discussing in there & we generally except that since we know they have no place else to go (except perhaps alt.computers.folklore - which is full of many people from many backgrounds). But I see having those groups as a mean's of having a community which visit out of interest & build knowledge for what they know, not some group devised of one guy who runs the show & his community members. I feel that people who have questions should also share their knowledge for those in need of it.

> There used to be many other newsgroups dedicated to 8-bit game
> machines, so their inclusion on the group would have only served to
> drive the people who loved it as a computer medium away.

I see having too many groups creates more fragmentation, you get people here, people there & people who don't even know where to go! I agree that when something in the newgroups name doesn't add up, they don't essentially belong, this works in the case of comp.sys.amstrad.8bit. People assumed that IBM based Amstrad's were a part of this group, since they had no knowledge about the 8bit Amstrads, fair mistake. I guess there's this funny way of thinking that games consoles are a part of Recretation, but for some reason it doesn't feel like it! ;-)

Hence my disapproval for these groups:
rec.games.video.atari
rec.games.video.classic

CP/M User.

Actually, there was a VCS module released for the 5200. I think compatibility was an issue, though. The 5200 was released in two versions, one with 2 joystick ports and another with 4. I think one of the versions had a problem with the VCS module and couldn't use it. It had nothing to do with the number of joystick ports, though. Something on the motherboard was changed between the two versions. This was in response to the release of VCS modules for the Colecovision and Intellivision.

CP/M User
November 11th, 2005, 01:06 PM
"animekenji" wrote:

>> ...8-bits didn't exist yet.

"Terry Yager" wrote:

> Excuse me???

I agree with you Terry, of course 8-bits existed. CP/M is older than the
VCS by at least 4 & what about pre-8080 processors such as the 8008,
isn't that an 8bit?

8080 certainally is & is the primary processor used for CP/M. Apple was
another early one - which had 65xx based processors, which I believe the
VCS was based around, but certainally the 2600 had a variation of this.
Commodore also used these processors in machines like the VIC-20 &
C64s had an enhanced version of the 6502.

I don't know why their saying that 8bits weren't around when the VCS
came out, IMO they were alive & kicking well before then. And what
would this console be like if it didn't have an 8bitter? Perhaps it would be
limited to cleaning the clothes or something!

CP/M User.

CP/M User
November 11th, 2005, 01:27 PM
"animekenji" wrote:

> Atari messed up badly with the 7800. Jack Tramiel had no interest in
> video games when he bought the company, which was why he didn't
> buy the arcade division.

Okay, so what I'd like to know is (if you know) when did this Jack Tramiel
buy the company. Was this around the time Atari wanted to move to 16bit
computers?
Was this the guy to blame for the Atari XEs dumping? And if so, why
couldn't he just consentrate on a market for everyone?

> When the NES was released and became wildly popular, he tried to
> revive the 7800 project that he cancelled shortly after taking over.
> Unfortunately, because Tramiel had NOT included the arcade division in
> his buyout of Atari, he had no ready source of new games to convert to
> the 7800 so Atari ended up rehashing all their old classics from the
> 2600 and 5200 so they wouldn't have to spend money acquiring new
> licenses. In contrast, Nintendos arcade division was very much in full
> swing with many popular games in arcades all over the world. They
> also were acquiring licenses to games they didn't own at a fevered
> pitch and by the time Atari finished re-releasing the games they
> already held licenses to, the best games were already taken by
> Nintendo. Nintendo also had many third party developers onboard for
> the NES. I don't think I have ever heard of a third party title ever being
> released for the 7800 until a couple of years ago when someone finally
> managed to crack the security scheme in the 7800 that kept unlicensed
> games off the system. The only source for 7800 games was Atari, and
> they weren't up to the task of supplying them. The 7800 and NES were
> on a technical par with each other, so the problem wasn't in the
> hardware. There were things the NES did a little better and things the
> 7800 did a little better, but not enough to clearly say that one machine
> was far and away better than the other, it was just that Tramiel bungled
> the 7800 so badly.

It sounds like just another Apple versus IBM. Apple came out in 1984 with
their fully-based GUI & IBM knew they needed something to compete
with. Before Windows really got started Digital Research came out with
their GUI clone (GEM) which Apple sued for & restrict functionability of
this system. They also did the same thing with Microsoft later on with
Windows (v3.x) & lost. Windows has always been behind the eight ball
when it comes to features. The only reason there's more IBMs than
Apples is due to that schmatics leak (from IBM) which allows many
companies produce IBM based machines - and cheaper machines.

Not sure what you'd call a 3rd party software distributer for the sake of
the 7800. Sure Atari were the prime producers of 7800 games, but
Activision & Absolute Enterainment also made games for the 7800. Atari
however gave them the right to produce games since they had access to
their security system - which in a way mean't that Atari were partly
responcible for getting their games out there.

Not sure what 7800 games Activision made though I believe they did
make some, they would have done well if they'd did what Atari did &
bring out some of their 2600 games onto the 7800, like Pitfall 1 & 2,
H.E.R.O would have been another gem to get. I think someone did Double
Dragon for the 7800 - not sure if it was Activision or Absolute Entainment
(might of been the later).

CP/M User.

carlsson
November 11th, 2005, 03:11 PM
I agree with you Terry, of course 8-bits existed.

I wonder if Terry did not take the quote out of its context, about the term 8-bit was not invented until a "different" kind of home/personal computer was introduced and the manufacturers need a way to distinguish this better, 16-bit computer from the old generation which was.. only 8-bit.

Just like almost nobody paid much attention to clock frequency until the PC and to some extent Mac/Amiga/Atari races in the later half of the 80'ties, when MHz became one of the strongest selling arguments.


65xx based processors, which I believe the VCS was based around, but certainally the 2600 had a variation of this.
Yes, it is called 6507 and is a stripped down version of 6502, but since I have never programmed the 2600, I can't tell exactly how it is stripped without looking it up. Less addressing space?

CP/M User
November 11th, 2005, 07:34 PM
"carlsson" wrote:

>> I agree with you Terry, of course 8-bits existed.

> I wonder if Terry did not take the quote out of its context, about the
> "term" 8-bit was not invented until a "different" kind of home/personal
> computer was introduced and the manufacturers need a way to
> distinguish this better, 16-bit computer from the old generation which
> was.. only 8-bit.

I think the term "bit" was more of an "in the beginning" kinda of thing. There were other processors like the 4004 which were 4 bit prcessors & 8008 which was "8bit. Then according to my source in 1973 Intel had brought out the 8080 processor, not soon following that CP/M was available for it. However for people who had computers with the earlier 8008 processor, they would not be able to run CP/M (sound familiar) & would need to upgrade.

I just can't see how you'd get away explaining to people back then why CP/M doesn't work on their 8008 based processor - unless you started explaining the fundementals of processors.

Bear in mind too that 16bit processors were available by the late 70s, so people should have grasp the concept as to why these processors were around. I must admit though that not to many people would have stocked up on these processors too early due to the cost, but a relatively large business probably managed.

> Just like almost nobody paid much attention to clock frequency until the
> PC and to some extent Mac/Amiga/Atari races in the later half of the
> 80'ties, when MHz became one of the strongest selling arguments.

Clock frequency was at a stage where for a long time people didn't have the need for speed - everyone got by with an XT until Windows became the aggressor (circa 1990) & at it was at that point where many changes came through, with Windows 3.x (486s being the favored machine), Windows 95/98/etc/etc for Pentiums, IIs, III, etc.

It was at those points too that people wanted serious crappy games for Windows, so Video Card, Speed, HD & RAM got serious.

>> 65xx based processors, which I believe the VCS was based around,
>> but certainally the 2600 had a variation of this.

> Yes, it is called 6507 and is a stripped down version of 6502, but since I
> have never programmed the 2600, I can't tell exactly how it is stripped
> without looking it up. Less addressing space?

I think if a processor is striped to the point it uses Less addressing space, it's an entirely different processor, perhaps it should be called 4502 (those are my thoughts about it).
Just to change the situation, how difficult would it be to take a 4bit game (assuming it was 4bit processor - what else could it be a 2 bit or 6 bit or 1 bit), & make it for an 8bit machine?
One recent addition to the Amstrad CPCs game archive is the oldie but goodie (Atari 2600 game) H.E.R.O. They seemed to have done a marverous job at porting it. Would it be easier if it was an 8bit game, rather than something else?

CP/M User.

carlsson
November 12th, 2005, 10:12 AM
There were other processors like the 4004 which were 4 bit prcessors & 8008 which was 8bit.
Sure, but most consumers were not told that it made much of a difference. Theoretically, 8 and 16 bit home computers were released simulanteously, if you take Atari 400 and TI-99, but I don't know if TI pushed the bitness in their marketing.


I just can't see how you'd get away explaining to people back then why CP/M doesn't work on their 8008 based processor - unless you started explaining the fundementals of processors.
How about "it is an old model, and thus not as powerful as the new one" without mentioning addressing and arithmetic capacity or clock frequency. If the customer really needs to know, sure you can explain how a 8080 is different from a 8008 (which I assume both have the same bitness) or how a 68000 differs from a 680x.


I think if a processor is striped to the point it uses Less addressing space, it's an entirely different processor
Well, the instruction set is the same, the interior architecture and I suppose the methods of integration in a system. 68008 is a cut down 68000, 80386SX is a cut down 80386DX etc.


H.E.R.O. They seemed to have done a marverous job at porting it. Would it be easier if it was an 8bit game, rather than something else?
I don't think it matters, as none of the 6502 code can be executed on a Z80 unless they include a 6502 simulator with the game. In that case, it probably is a complete rewrite with the same graphics and feel, and as long as the target system is at least equal in capacity to the original, it should not matter about word length. Actually, if there was a custom chipset (graphics, sound etc) for the CPC which was equal to e.g. Amiga, I believe that you should be able to port most Amiga games, despite having a less powerful CPU and less memory. You might have to leave out some details or it runs slower.

animekenji
November 12th, 2005, 11:32 AM
"animekenji" wrote:

>> ...8-bits didn't exist yet.

"Terry Yager" wrote:

> Excuse me???

I agree with you Terry, of course 8-bits existed. CP/M is older than the
VCS by at least 4 & what about pre-8080 processors such as the 8008,
isn't that an 8bit?

8080 certainally is & is the primary processor used for CP/M. Apple was
another early one - which had 65xx based processors, which I believe the
VCS was based around, but certainally the 2600 had a variation of this.
Commodore also used these processors in machines like the VIC-20 &
C64s had an enhanced version of the 6502.

I don't know why their saying that 8bits weren't around when the VCS
came out, IMO they were alive & kicking well before then. And what
would this console be like if it didn't have an 8bitter? Perhaps it would be
limited to cleaning the clothes or something!

CP/M User.

Terry, you are in an Atari forum. Did you not think that I am referring to 8-bit ATARI computers?? Do not try to make people you do not know out to be idiots. I have a huge collection of early microcomputers including Altairs, IMSAIs, SWP, Kaypros, Osbornes, Northstars and many many others you probably never heard of. I spend countless hours researching my systems. I have hundreds of O-L-D books and magazines on the subject of early micros. I have been doing this for 20+ years. Of course I am aware of other 8-bit systems prior to Atari. I do not need someone who is probably half my age telling me about early micros.

The VCS was released in 1977, the 400/800 in 1979. In the two years between there were NO 8-bits! They did not exist yet. There were of course 8-bit processors and computers before then, but the term 8-bit as it is being applied in this sense, refers only to those 8-bit computers made by Atari and no other. You don't hear the term 8-bit being used in reference to Commodore computers, Apple computers or anyone elses computers. Commodores are referred to as PETs, VIC, 64, 128 or 264 series in reference to the C16 and Plus 4. Apples 8-bits are referred to as the Apple or Apple II, no matter which model you are referring to. Only Ataris 8-bits machines are known commonly as "8-bits" by their users.


As for the VCS, it used a chip related to the 6502 called the 6507 that had 28 pins instead of the 40 on the 6502. Internally it was exactly the same as the 6502, it just wasn't able to address as much memory. 8k was the max with a 6507, but the VCS didn't even come with that much. The VCS had just 128 bytes on the board. It relied on the 4k on the cartridges to function as it's main memory, which of course, held the game program.

Edit:

I apologize for my earlier impatience. I am just tired of every time I come to a new forum and having all the 18-19 year old comp-sci students who inherited daddys or older brothers C64 thinking they know everything there is to know about computers. It becomes very trying when someone with no knowledge earlier than Win 3.1 or 95 thinks they know more than everyone else. If this does not apply to you, then I do apologize.

Micom 2000
November 12th, 2005, 01:46 PM
I believe the Atari 8-bit emphasis reflected the great divide which happened with Tramiel taking over Atari, and the resentment of the large body of Atari8-bitters at the new Atari as represented by the ST. You also have a similiar thing with Apple IIers and Macs. With Atari abandoning the 8bit a large number of after-market and home-brew peripheral makers sprung up. Years ago I subscribed to the FIDO Atari 8-bit and the Internet
8-bit feeds on the Toronto Atari Fed. BBS. ( I much preferred the FIDO one). Two things could get the forums backs up. Mentioning the ST or the (non-serious) game systems. My favorite Atari 8-bit was the 130XE which resembles a minature ST, closely followed by the XEGS which had a slick design and was a "real" home computer. :^).

As likely the oldest member of this forum I can sympathize with your impatience with some of the younger people on the IT net. In my case I was a "Junior IBM Operator" in the mid-50s, handling punch-cards and wiring collators, interpretors, and a unique Statistical Sorter, then got back into it at the end of the 70s. One of the problems I find is my memory banks are TOO full. Accessing that data at times is difficult.

You might remember it was "de rigeure" for old farts to encourage the younger generation to get into computing and applauding their efforts.
We've all been "too big for our britches" at some earlier period. I've always maintained to my 4 sons that "up to around 30 , you increasingly figure you know it all and after that it's all downhill as you realise you know less and less about more and more."

That said, your characterisation doesn't apply to Terry. He certainly is over 30 and has a wealth of knowledge about older computers. Not to mention access to an amazing souce of ancient computers and their parts.
From my experience in dealing with him an all-around good guy, who at times undoubtably shares your impatience with the "whipper-snappers".

From one old fart to another, welcome to the VC forum.

Lawrence

OOPS. I forgot to add the obligatory Atari sign-off.

CURSE YOU JACK TRAMIEL (and all your prodigy)

Terry Yager
November 12th, 2005, 02:22 PM
Terry, you are in an Atari forum. Did you not think that I am referring to 8-bit ATARI computers??...
<snip>
...Only Ataris 8-bits machines are known commonly as "8-bits" by their users.


Thank you for the clarification, and no, it didn't occur to me that you were refering to only Atari 8-bit machines. Not being much of an Atari person myself, I was unaware that Atari people commonly refer to thier computers in that manner. I really meant no disrespect.

--T

Terry Yager
November 12th, 2005, 09:01 PM
Thanx for the plug, Lawrence.

--T

CP/M User
November 12th, 2005, 11:32 PM
"carlsson" wrote:

>> I just can't see how you'd get away explaining to people back then
>> why CP/M doesn't work on their 8008 based processor - unless you
>> started explaining the fundementals of processors.

> How about "it is an old model, and thus not as powerful as the new one"
> without mentioning addressing and arithmetic capacity or clock
> frequency.

LOL!! :-)

Could I just use that Bogus Don Adams (RIP) expression and say "Would
you believe I don't buy that". Course it never worked for those KAOS
agents (except for one time when Control were there! ;-)

Oh well, all a matter of opinion.

> If the customer really needs to know, sure you can explain how a 8080
> is different from a 8008 (which I assume both have the same bitness)
> or how a 68000 differs from a 680x.

I was quite amazing that I recall one of those 8008 based machines (don't
recall which one) had an 8 inch disk drive. Somebody told me though
something along the lines about it having a very primative file system.
The machine in question was I believe a full on Word Processor - which
came with a disk drive for saving the files. Obviously the machine was
business based & had a 8008 - however some of those machines had
what was known as TTL (maybe not back in it's day), which wasn't a true
8008, but equivalent.

> Well, the instruction set is the same, the interior architecture and I
> suppose the methods of integration in a system. 68008 is a cut down
> 68000, 80386SX is a cut down 80386DX etc.

Oh yeah, the 80386SX having access to 16 data lines or something, but
then it processes a 32bit & transmitting it at 16bit. It had 24 address lines,
24-bit address bus & can only access upto 16Mb. Where's a 386DX can
access a maximum amount of 4Gb & everything else has 32 beside it.

CP/M User.

carlsson
November 14th, 2005, 03:07 PM
The VCS was released in 1977, the 400/800 in 1979. In the two years between there were NO 8-bits! They did not exist yet.

Hmm, are you suggesting that the 400/800 and later XE/XL series were referred to as Atari 8-bits even before the "16-bit revolution"? I think one major reason why people group this half dozen of computer models as one is because they are fairly backwards compatible with eachother, if I understood correctly. I don't know to which extent an Apple /// is compatible with all the various &#93;&#91; models and even Apple 1, but I know that the 8-bit Commodores only remotely are compatible, so it always made sense to refer to them separately. Of course, sometimes we refer to them as the 8-bit range to distinguish from Amiga, PC, SuperPET etc.


My favorite Atari 8-bit was the 130XE which resembles a minature ST
I wonder if the 260ST is only a cut-down 520, or somehow man-in-the-middle compatible with the 130XE as well? There is one on Dimitri's auction btw.

animekenji
September 6th, 2009, 11:04 AM
Hmm, are you suggesting that the 400/800 and later XE/XL series were referred to as Atari 8-bits even before the "16-bit revolution"? I think one major reason why people group this half dozen of computer models as one is because they are fairly backwards compatible with eachother, if I understood correctly. I don't know to which extent an Apple /// is compatible with all the various ][ models and even Apple 1, but I know that the 8-bit Commodores only remotely are compatible, so it always made sense to refer to them separately. Of course, sometimes we refer to them as the 8-bit range to distinguish from Amiga, PC, SuperPET etc.


I wonder if the 260ST is only a cut-down 520, or somehow man-in-the-middle compatible with the 130XE as well? There is one on Dimitri's auction btw.

Wow, old thread but I had to come back and address it. (I can't believe how grumpy I sound when I read that last post).

Anyway, for Carlsson, there is a compatibility line drawn in the Atari 8 bit line. It's a really silly thing, but it is there. The Atari 400/800 and to a certain extent the ill fated 1200XL can be grouped together while the later XL and XE models are grouped together. When Atari released the 400/800 developers were told not to depend too heavily on the routines and values built into the ROM's as they would be subject to change in future revisions. Unfortunately, programmers found that they could greatly speed up their own code by tapping into memory locations and routines built into the ROM's instead of writing the code themselves. Placing their code in empty page 0 locations was a popular speed up trick. When the 600XL and 800XL were released, many of those routines were moved around or replaced/removed or the locations no longer were empty and the programs written for the older Atari's didn't work anymore. Atari released a floppy called The Translator that let you use your older software on the newer machines, even though it wasn't their fault that the programmers did what Atari specifically told them not to. The 1200XL is kind of a mutant because it runs the older software written for the 400/800 but has a couple of hardware glitches that make it difficult to use certain peripherals designed for use with the newer XL/XE's. There have been technical articles written for Antic and Analog that address most of these issues if you have the skills with a soldering iron to fix them. I'm sure Curt Vendel has all that information archived somewhere on his site.

animekenji
September 6th, 2009, 11:16 AM
"animekenji" wrote:

> Atari messed up badly with the 7800. Jack Tramiel had no interest in
> video games when he bought the company, which was why he didn't
> buy the arcade division.

Okay, so what I'd like to know is (if you know) when did this Jack Tramiel
buy the company. Was this around the time Atari wanted to move to 16bit
computers?
Was this the guy to blame for the Atari XEs dumping? And if so, why
couldn't he just consentrate on a market for everyone?

> When the NES was released and became wildly popular, he tried to
> revive the 7800 project that he cancelled shortly after taking over.
> Unfortunately, because Tramiel had NOT included the arcade division in
> his buyout of Atari, he had no ready source of new games to convert to
> the 7800 so Atari ended up rehashing all their old classics from the
> 2600 and 5200 so they wouldn't have to spend money acquiring new
> licenses. In contrast, Nintendos arcade division was very much in full
> swing with many popular games in arcades all over the world. They
> also were acquiring licenses to games they didn't own at a fevered
> pitch and by the time Atari finished re-releasing the games they
> already held licenses to, the best games were already taken by
> Nintendo. Nintendo also had many third party developers onboard for
> the NES. I don't think I have ever heard of a third party title ever being
> released for the 7800 until a couple of years ago when someone finally
> managed to crack the security scheme in the 7800 that kept unlicensed
> games off the system. The only source for 7800 games was Atari, and
> they weren't up to the task of supplying them. The 7800 and NES were
> on a technical par with each other, so the problem wasn't in the
> hardware. There were things the NES did a little better and things the
> 7800 did a little better, but not enough to clearly say that one machine
> was far and away better than the other, it was just that Tramiel bungled
> the 7800 so badly.

It sounds like just another Apple versus IBM. Apple came out in 1984 with
their fully-based GUI & IBM knew they needed something to compete
with. Before Windows really got started Digital Research came out with
their GUI clone (GEM) which Apple sued for & restrict functionability of
this system. They also did the same thing with Microsoft later on with
Windows (v3.x) & lost. Windows has always been behind the eight ball
when it comes to features. The only reason there's more IBMs than
Apples is due to that schmatics leak (from IBM) which allows many
companies produce IBM based machines - and cheaper machines.

Not sure what you'd call a 3rd party software distributer for the sake of
the 7800. Sure Atari were the prime producers of 7800 games, but
Activision & Absolute Enterainment also made games for the 7800. Atari
however gave them the right to produce games since they had access to
their security system - which in a way mean't that Atari were partly
responcible for getting their games out there.

Not sure what 7800 games Activision made though I believe they did
make some, they would have done well if they'd did what Atari did &
bring out some of their 2600 games onto the 7800, like Pitfall 1 & 2,
H.E.R.O would have been another gem to get. I think someone did Double
Dragon for the 7800 - not sure if it was Activision or Absolute Entainment
(might of been the later).

CP/M User.

Jack Tramiel and his sons were ousted from Commodore not long before they bought Atari and they were never really serious about running the company. They just wanted to use it as a club to bash Commodore over the head with. They immediately got Atari out of everything that didn't compete directly with something that Commodore was doing at the time which was why they didn't buy the arcade division and they closed Atari Labs which was actually working on some pretty amazing for the time stuff. Video games also weren't on the agenda until Nintendo released the NES and then they dragged the previously canceled 7800 out of mothballs and rushed it into production since all the development work was already done, all they had to do was contract with someone to produce it.

For more info on their battle with Commodore over the rights to the Amiga and the introduction of the ST that resulted after they lost, go here

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atari_ST#Tramel_Technology

Fallo
September 7th, 2009, 06:17 PM
Unfortunately, because Tramiel had NOT included the arcade division in his buyout of Atari, he had no ready source of new games to convert to the 7800 so Atari ended up rehashing all their old classics from the 2600 and 5200 so they wouldn't have to spend money acquiring new licenses. In contrast, Nintendos arcade division was very much in full swing with many popular games in arcades all over the world.

When the 7800 arrived in stores, all people saw were Ms. Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Robotron, and Dig Dug, ie. the same games they'd already played. Of course, the NES had many of these as well, but they also had fresh, exciting games like Mario and Zelda. As for new arcade conversions, the 7800 had nothing except Double Dragon (albeit a more accurate port than the NES had).


They also were acquiring licenses to games they didn't own at a fevered pitch and by the time Atari finished re-releasing the games they already held licenses to, the best games were already taken by Nintendo. Nintendo also had many third party developers onboard for the NES. I don't think I have ever heard of a third party title ever being released for the 7800 until a couple of years ago when someone finally managed to crack the security scheme in the 7800 that kept unlicensed games off the system. The only source for 7800 games was Atari, and they weren't up to the task of supplying them.

They only had Activision, Froggo, and Absolute for third-party developers, although their first-party games were mostly contracted out. Nintendo of America also forbade developers from making games for any other system for five years, until 1990 when a court ruled that it was in violation of anti-trust laws. This also combined with very poor marketing by Atari, quite in contrast to Nintendo's highly aggressive marketing.

Nintendo of course had the lockout chip to prevent unlicensed games, but developers found ways around it rather quickly. They could have done the same with the 7800, but its small market share (Nintendo had 85%-90% of the US console market at one point) meant that no one bothered.


The 7800 and NES were on a technical par with each other, so the problem wasn't in the hardware. There were things the NES did a little better and things the 7800 did a little better, but not enough to clearly say that one machine was far and away better than the other, it was just that Tramiel bungled the 7800 so badly.

The 7800 certainly wasn't on par in terms of sound capabilities, having the same hardware as the 2600. Its graphics chip was a bit better since it could have 256 colors on screen at once and had more sprites (Robotron on the NES would have tons of flicker). Since its cartridge slot had no write lines, battery-backed saves were impossible (although you could always use passwords). This was part of the reason why it was completely devoid of RPGs. This feature was overlooked because the 7800 was originally meant to compete with the Colecovision. It had other, albeit smaller, deficiencies like uncomfortable controllers and no composite output.

martyg
December 22nd, 2009, 11:48 PM
Jack Tramiel and his sons were ousted from Commodore not long before they bought Atari and they were never really serious about running the company.

A) Atari Inc. closed down, they bought Atari Consumer (IP, facilities and distribution) and folded it in to TTL, renaming TTL Atari Corporation. B) They were very serious.



They just wanted to use it as a club to bash Commodore over the head with.

A common myth, but not true. His main concern was his old concern, the Japanese. He was actually looking at a number of companies that spring, Atari just happened to be the one that went through.


They immediately got Atari out of everything that didn't compete directly with something that Commodore was doing at the time


Completely nonfactual.


which was why they didn't buy the arcade division and they closed Atari Labs

a) He didn't buy the arcade division because he had no experience in that industry. Consumer products he did. Likewise, Warner wanted to hang on to it, as it was still profitable. That's also why they were a major stock holder in Atari Corporation after it was formed.

b) Atari Corporate Research Labs were closed down in May and June of '84 during the massive layoffs. In fact Alan Kay resigned that May for Apple. This was all *before* Jack bought Consumer.


Video games also weren't on the agenda until Nintendo released the NES

Completely untrue again. When they bought consumer, they were specifically planning on keeping the video games section going to keep the new company afloat while they were finishing the ST. Work on the 2600 Jr. was started up again immediately that August.


and then they dragged the previously canceled 7800 out of mothballs and rushed it into production since all the development work was already done, all they had to do was contract with someone to produce it.

Also way off. a) The 7800 was frozen, not canceled. There was a payment dispute for the design and production of the Maria chip because of how open accounts were kept by Warner. There was question on who actually owed the money to GCC, which was finally settled when Jack paid it in Spring of '85 to get complete ownership. Work started up again and escalated that winter under pressure from Warner, and the 7800 was pushed again at the January '86 CES show. This was when the NES had only had it's poor NY test marketing and hadn't hit the LA test marketing yet. B) That was not "all they had to do", they needed to contract with someone from GCC who new the internals and could get the project going again.



For more info on their battle with Commodore over the rights to the Amiga and the introduction of the ST that resulted after they lost, go here

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atari_ST#Tramel_Technology


The ST was not a result of any loss of the Amiga, it was already in design *before* they bought Atari Consumer. Likewise, they didn't loose. The court proceedings went on until 1987 when it was settled out of court and Amiga paid Atari Corp. the original loan plus interest.


Marty
ClassicGaming.Com

Atari Gaming Headquarters
www.atarihq.com

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