Questions tagged [atari]

For questions about different versions of, and products for, Atari consoles and home computers.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
26
votes
4answers
2k views

Why did the Atari 8-bit computers make beeping noises while accessing the disk and cassette drives?

If you've ever used an actual Atari 8-bit computer with either a cassette or disk drive, you would have noticed that it made a variety of "beeping" noises while accessing the devices. Specifically, ...
6
votes
2answers
372 views

Where to find a ROM dump for the Atari ST cartridge 'ACTION'

Back in the day I owned a couple Atari ST, I used a cartridge based program for writing video games. It was called "ACTION" Does anyone remember this program or even better, know where I can get a ROM ...
26
votes
3answers
5k views

What was Pong called in Britain?

Pong, the electronic ping-pong game invented by Atari in 1972, was the first really successful video game. In Britain, 'pong' was also slang for a nasty smell, and I remember reading somewhere, a long ...
3
votes
0answers
136 views

Why did Gran Trak 10 cost so much?

In 1974, Atari released a driving game called Gran Trak 10. The development prototypes had used real car steering wheels and pedals, but it was realized these were too expensive, so they were changed ...
16
votes
6answers
2k views

Tool used to develop videogames with an Atari ST

I am a owner of Atari ST, and I would like to know software and tools used for the programmers for this computer to program mainly video games. For example: IDE used Language (I think it was Basic, ...
5
votes
1answer
415 views

Was Steve Jobs really Atari employee number 40?

To be clear, I am not questioning that Steve Jobs spent a while working for Atari; that much is indubitably historical fact. Apparently he joined the company in 1974. Atari was founded in the summer ...
9
votes
2answers
365 views

What cables do I need to connect an Atari 130XE to a monitor and a television set?

I found my old atari 130XE, full of dust. I have the power supply but I don't have connection cables and controls. I've searched in eBay, Amazon and such for controls and there are plenty of them. My ...
51
votes
1answer
6k views

How was collision detection done on the Asteroids arcade game?

In honor of today's landing of and sample collection by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft on the asteroid Bennu: How did the arcade game Asteroids detect collisions between the screen objects (player's ship, ...
10
votes
3answers
586 views

Why was “Flight Simulator II” never ported to the NES? Was it technically impossible?

In the magical mid-1990s, when we already had got our (second-hand) 486 PC and I had both a NES and SNES, I for some reason got my paws on an old Atari "XE Game System" (8-bit, 1987). It had ...
17
votes
3answers
998 views

Where are the blueprints of MOS chips?

Atari historians have been able to find documents and tapes of chips and hardware developed at Atari. E.g. http://atariage.com/forums/topic/154479-new-gtia-chips/ . Nothing like this is happening for ...
56
votes
8answers
13k views

Could you reverse engineer silicon just by looking at it?

I was interested in a recent interview of Masayuki Uemura, one of the engineers who designed the Nintendo Famicom in the early 80s. During initial design phase of the Famicom, one of the first things ...
2
votes
0answers
226 views

How does the Hard Drivin' game engine work?

Hard Drivin' is a classic Atari video game released in the arcades and then ported to many home systems. How does the game engine work? How is the world data handled, how is collision detection done ...
2
votes
4answers
243 views

What connector for Atari 2600 Controller?

I am working on designing a 8 bit computer and I was considering adding support for a Atari 2600 controller. I know it uses a D-Sub9 connector, but is there anything special about it? What I mean is ...
14
votes
1answer
643 views

How does one convert Atari assembly to A=USR(ADR(“[garble]”)) style BASIC wrapper?

Some small utilities, tools etc for Atari were distributed as BASIC programs that would consist of just one line, that looked something like this: 10 A=USR(ADR("p$PHHLéúÿÿÇEéúÿÿ@éüÿÿ2A$éòùÿÿE°U´è§...
10
votes
0answers
270 views

How much did Atari pay for GEM?

Atari licensed Digital Research's GEM graphic user interface for the ST. As https://www.filfre.net/2015/04/the-68000-wars-part-2-jack-is-back/ puts it: And of course in the wake of the Macintosh the ...
17
votes
1answer
723 views

How can I interface with an old Atari from a modern computer?

I have an old 8bit Atari at my dad's house which would be fun to play with. It has a keyboard, computer and screen, turn it on, and program BASIC. But I'll possibly want to load the code from a ...
20
votes
5answers
6k views

Were the custom chips in the Amiga exploited for their hardware bugs like the ones in the C64 and Atari 8 bit computers were?

Here we are some decades on from the C64, and other 8 bit computers. New ideas that resulted in some new graphics effect or mode seem to happen, though we may be near the end of all that. Took a ...
1
vote
2answers
282 views

How to get rid of keyboard latency in atari800 emulator?

I use the atari800 emulator v. 4.2.0 on windows 10 and linux in latest version. (https://atari800.github.io) I notice an annoying keyboard latency of up to 100-200ms (keypress-to-click and ...
39
votes
5answers
10k views

How did Atari lose money on home computers?

The answer recently posted to Did Atari make more money from arcade games or consoles? quotes a New York Times article from 1982 https://www.nytimes.com/1982/12/19/business/the-game-turns-serious-at-...
8
votes
1answer
374 views

Did Atari make more money from arcade games or consoles?

Atari was originally an arcade game company, starting at the beginning of the seventies with Computer Space and Pong. In 1977, they entered the console business with the VCS a.k.a. 2600; in 1979, they ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Who were the Atari ST designers pilfered from Commodore?

After Jack Tramiel was fired from Commodore and became the owner of Atari, I believe he offered jobs to a number of key technical people who followed him from Commodore. Who were the key people (if ...
6
votes
2answers
865 views

How to backup/dump Atari 520st floppy disks on modern hardware

I know the real answer is to download cracked games but in the era before Internet was afordable I have a lot of community games which never reached the Internet which I would like to rescue as some ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

Troubleshooting and reparing an Atari 800XL with a single key not working

I recently purchased an old Atari 800XL off eBay. The machine was untested/as-is and not guaranteed to work, but it was cosmetically in mint condition with original box, manuals, and even the ...
36
votes
4answers
4k views

How did “Ballblazer” pull off fast, smooth, first-person, solid-model 3D on Atari 8-bits?

I remember the first time I saw Ballblazer, the 1984 game, running on a friend's Atari 800. The split-screen 3d graphics and fast action blew my socks off. Looking back, I get the impression there ...
11
votes
2answers
982 views

How to convert Atari (65XE) tapes to ATR?

I still have some tapes for my Atari 65XE and I'd like to play some of the old games I got. But I don't have the Atari anymore. I have a tape recorder of quality surpassing the Atari one by quite a ...
11
votes
2answers
596 views

Looking for ATARI-ST Graphics Image

I am hoping that someone here collects computer images from days gone by. Many years ago when I used my ATARI-ST I made two drawing I believe I used the art program NEOCHROME, or possibly DEGAS. The ...
18
votes
4answers
1k views

Why did the Atari 5200 forsake compatibility with 400/800 game cartridges?

The Atari 400/800 home computers were well-established and quite successful in the games market by the time the Atari 5200 console was released in 1982. The 5200 shared the chips and architecture of ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Atari Centipede Video and the GBS-8200 didn't seem to work - looking for ideas

So I ordered the GBS-8200 (It's a v4.0) and tried to use it to convert the 15KHz RGBHV monitor output to VGA. I did a direct connect to P11 with Red, Green, Blue and Hsync and Vsync and Video return ...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

How do I rip sounds from Atari 2600 ROMs and save it in a more modern format?

I want to create HTML5 versions of some classic Atari 2600 games and was wondering if there's any possible way to rip all sound effects from a game's ROM file. Until now, I've tried using Stella ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Were external floppy drives for Atari ST and Amiga inter-compatible?

Were external floppy drives for Atari ST and Amiga inter-compatible? For example, Commodore 1541* had its own serial bus protocol. But what about the external 3.5" DD floppy disk drive on 23pins D-...
22
votes
3answers
3k views

Why did the Atari 800 designers choose such a radical system design?

The physical system design of the Atari 800 was pretty radical, when compared to the 3 other canonical home computer designs of the late-1970s: TRS-80 Model 1, PET, and Apple ][. As the photo of the ...
12
votes
1answer
833 views

When was Breakout developed by Steve Wozniak?

The classic game Breakout was developed in 1975-76; famously, the first version of the circuit board was designed by Wozniak over the course of four nights, though Atari subsequently redesigned it for ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Monitor Cable for Atari 130XE. Where to buy or how to build?

I have acquired an Atari 130XE (no manual). It has a power cord and it powers up! However, there is no monitor/TV cable provided. Hopefully you can see the image I tried to attach. Where can I get ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Atari 800XL, black screen on power on - how to diagnose the problem?

I've got an atari 800 XL that is broken - when I power on, there's no reaction. It seems there is at least something sent to display, as TV detects a signal, and turns full black. The chips are ...
16
votes
6answers
3k views

What monitor did Atari recommend for its 8 bit product line?

I am curious what Atari recommended to users as an appropriate monitor for their 8 bit computers (400/800/800xl/etc). For example, my Commodore 64 pairs nicely with a Commodore manufactured 1702 or ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

How to identify size of a 30 pin SIMM (Atari 1040 STe)

I have recently acquired an Atari 1040 STe with 1MB of RAM. I read that you can extend its RAM with 30 pin SIMM up to 4MB. But it can be done only with 256KB or 1MB SIMM, and that 2MB, 4MB, 8MB and ...
6
votes
1answer
678 views

Fastest way to write 0x00 to a zero-page memory location? (6502, Atari 2600)

I have a kernel in my 6502 game that writes two dots to a sprite, so for example: ........ ........ .XX..XX. .XX..XX. ........ ........ Either 0, 1, or 2 dots can be on at a time. This is done one ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

What changes made some Atari ST software incompatible with the Atari TT?

The Atari TT was based on the earlier ST line of computers but with a 32 MHz 68030 instead of an 8 or 16 MHz 68000. There were a number of extensions made (e.g. new video modes) and the memory ...
1
vote
1answer
526 views

Amiga versus Atari ST computer introductions [closed]

I'm interested in the time, place and manner in which some historically important computers were introduced to the world. For example, the Macintosh was presented in January 1984 by Steve Jobs, first ...
15
votes
3answers
885 views

Atari 800XL showing a red screen

My friend has a Atari 800XL in mint condition. When the device was turned on, the only thing that appeared was a dark red screen. Another friend of mine figured that the memory chips were to blame, ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

How did Atari cassette “turbo without hardware mods” work?

There were some cassette copying programs for 8-bit Atari, that boasted saving the games in a way that would load it at up to 1800baud - versus the standard 600baud, which was a significant ...
20
votes
1answer
684 views

What did the cassette bootloader in 8 Bit Ataris do?

...or for that matter, what didn't it do, so that you'd use the "bootloader/main program" separation instead of loading everything at once. Normally, when loading games or any non-BASIC software from ...
5
votes
2answers
975 views

Is it possible to use the RGB inputs on a Sony PVM with an Atari STE?

As the title states, can the RGB lines on the monitor port of the Atari ST be used with the RGB inputs on a Sony PVM CRT monitor?
11
votes
1answer
587 views

What API did the POKEY module provide?

The POKEY module was used in many, many Atari arcade games, including most that contained the Atari Math Box. It could be used to sample potentiometers, scan matrices of switches and, more famously, ...
10
votes
2answers
380 views

Order of powering down Atari ST and hard drive?

I am wondering if the order is important, which do I turn off first? The Atari ST computer or the external hard drive attached to it? It is on an SCSI adapter.
9
votes
1answer
276 views

Remote Debugging on the Atari ST

Were there ever any remote debugging tools for the Atari ST line of machines? When developing games in full screen modes, switching away to a debugger seems quite cumbersome if you need to remember ...
10
votes
3answers
633 views

How can I copy software which is too large for one Atari ST floppy disk?

I have downloaded the STOS game creator from the STOS download page. I'm trying to copy the software from my computer to a floppy disk formatted on an Atari ST, but I get an error message saying the ...
18
votes
1answer
1k views

How does the 4MB mod for 8-bit Atari work?

On the local auction portal I have spotted ads for some "supercharged" 8-bit Ataris (800XL, 65XE etc) - modified to support 4 megabytes of RAM. The auctions were scarce in details, more concentrating ...
12
votes
1answer
285 views

Can Extra Joystick Ports be Added to the Atari XL/XE Series of Computers?

The original Atari 400 and Atari 800 machines each had four joystick ports, which was frankly ahead of their time and made for some amazing experiences. M.U.L.E. with four players was an absolute ...
8
votes
2answers
888 views

Cleaning Atari ST mouse and experiences with the USB/PS2 adapter

I am user a Atari ST computer and my original mouse has a very slow movements and little range for each movement, for this reason it is needed to move multiple times the mouse, I have tried to clean ...