Brian H
  • Member for 4 years, 11 months
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What "Write your own RPG/Adventure game" books were available for 8-bit computers?
8 votes

Fortunately, for all of us, Jimmy Maher, aka The Digital Antiquarian, has been tackling your question for years and in extravagant detail and style. I would urge you to take a look at Jimmy's eBook ...

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What are all the known file extensions for Atari 8-bit disk/tape/cartridge images?
5 votes

In practical terms, what really matters is which Atari 8-bit binary image formats and extensions are recognized by the popular Atari 8-bit emulators. Emulators (especially open-source ones that can ...

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Why BGR color order
Accepted answer
29 votes

The ordering for the color values stems from a desire to store color palettes in memory in a way that is easily transferable to the VGA RAMDAC used in IBM (and compatible) VGA video cards. The ...

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When did energy saving start to become important?
5 votes

Power savings has always been critical for microprocessors and other integrated circuits because of the physics of heat transfer. The more heat generated per unit of area on chip, the more aggressive ...

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Why did so many early microcomputers use the MOS 6502 and variants?
39 votes

First, for Commodore's part, it should be obvious the reason for choosing the 6502 microprocessor for all their 8-bit machines (notwithstanding the dual-processor CBM 9000 and C128) - Commodore owned ...

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What was the difference between "Video Low" and "Video High" on the VIC-20?
Accepted answer
7 votes

The VLOW signal on Pin 4 of the VIC-20's monitor port has a low-pass filter applied to it, where Pin 5 (VHIGH) is not filtered. See this post, which specifically says: Then the signal is buffered ...

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

The original Atari 800 monitor output (5-pin DIN) supports both composite video and S-video. Thus, the Commodore 1702 pairs very well with it, using the Chroma+Luma (S-video) inputs. Same with any ...

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How does the Kickstart ROM load and start workbench?
Accepted answer
20 votes

The Amiga Kickstart ROM is made up of numerous modules, libraries, and device drivers. One of the modules is Strap, as in Bootstrap. After I/O and expansion devices have been enumerated and ...

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Can a retro-computer be a useful way to learn computer-architecture fundamentals?
Accepted answer
15 votes

The main benefit for learning computer system architecture with a retrocomputer, compared to a modern computer, is accessibility of the hardware. Retrocomputers are much simpler than modern systems in ...

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How can I convert Epson escape codes to a more usable format?
18 votes

If you can get your output to a file using redirection, then you can use the Linux open-source project called dotprint to convert the file into a PDF document for printing on a modern printer, viewing ...

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What precautions to take when powering on old computer for the first time in years
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42 votes

There are several simple precautions that are always worth taking when powering up a vintage microcomputer after long periods of storage or non-use. The minimum, simple steps, should include: Place ...

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Will using a clockport RTC card on an Amiga 1200 clash with the RTC on an accelerator card?
9 votes

Most likely, the two RTC devices would conflict, since they will probably rely on the same chip select line and base address $D80000. Technically, the A1200 clock port and the A1200 expansion "trap-...

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How does the Amiga chipset RGA bus work?
9 votes

The Amiga contains a general-purpose coprocessor within the Agnus/Alice custom chip known as the Copper. The Amiga Copper uses DMA and interleaved access to chip RAM shared with the 68k CPU to fetch ...

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Apple II: What type of partition tables were used?
9 votes

ProDOS provides a common device driver API for storage systems, but does not specify a partition table format. Rather, the SCSI (or other) HD interface card has firmware to map partitions to ProDOS ...

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Cloning circuit boards for antique computers?
4 votes

Based on actual projects that have been manufactured for the retrocomputing community, the tendency is toward enhancing the boards to take advantage of some modern components, rather than producing an ...

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Apple II: ProDOS partitions on floppy disks?
Accepted answer
8 votes

ProDOS supports up to 2 storage device volumes per slot, but does not support partitioning within those volumes. It is a function of the firmware provided with the storage device controller (i.e. SCSI ...

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What were the 9 VAC pins used for on the Commodore 64 User Port?
Accepted answer
17 votes

The 9VAC available at the Commodore 64 User Port was used to drive additional peripheral loads that were not convenient to drive from the +5 VDC supply, or when doing so might exceed the limited ...

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What is the relationship between the Ricoh 2A03 and the MOS 6502?
Accepted answer
14 votes

The Ricoh 2A03 (NTSC) and 2A07 (PAL) are best thought of as ASIC devices. They include a 6502-compatible CPU core, but these chips also include the NES's 5-voice Programmable Sound Generator. The ...

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What are the "Screen Holes" in Apple II graphics?
14 votes

The book Inside the Apple //e by Gary B. Little provides excellent explanations for why "screenholes" exist in the Apple II memory map, and how they are used, by convention. The memory for each page ...

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Did Apple not originally allow anyone to develop software for the Macintosh?
Accepted answer
90 votes

This is most certainly a myth. There was no conspiracy by Steve Jobs or Apple to prevent third-parties from engaging with the ecosystem that would eventually flourish for Classic Macintosh ...

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How can I upscale the video output of a Nintendo 64 for low-latency and high quality graphics on an HDTV?
6 votes

It depends on whether you also want to modify the N64 to support RGB output. Without modification, the best output to use from the N64 is S-video. Cables are commonly available on eBay for the N64 ...

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Did the Apple IIe Platinum include all feature enhancements from the Apple II line?
9 votes

Yes, all the enhancements that were part of the Enhanced Apple //e were included in the Apple //e Platinum Edition. So the stock system provided 80-column text, Double Hi-Res, 128K of RAM, 65C02 ...

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Apple II SCSI: Maximum drive / partition size?
Accepted answer
8 votes

The SCSI controller is not a limiting factor. The Apple II SCSI controller electronics, and SCSI protocol, would support accessing the blocks of a very large disk. However, managing those blocks is ...

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What was the first piece of software to be called an engine?
16 votes

The word "engine", applied to game development software platforms, came into common usage in the mid-1990's and is mostly applied to that category of software today. While there is history of using "...

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1980's PC educational game where you build robots
5 votes

I believe you are referring to ChipWits, by Epyx software. It was quite popular at the time.

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Does "Disk Operating System" imply that there was a "non-disk" Operating System?
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103 votes

The term "Disk Operating System", or commonly "DOS", was used in the early days of personal computing to distinguish operating systems that also contained software for supporting disk devices, since ...

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Connecting an Apple //e with a Super Serial Card to an Android device via a USB to DB25 cable
2 votes

I do not expect it is practical. The reason you can connect the Apple to RPi is that the USB port on the RPi is designed to be a host to USB slave devices - for this case, it is hosting a USB slave ...

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Selling computers via dealers and the mass market
Accepted answer
9 votes

Commodore's experiences were driven by the interactions between Commodore management and its dealer network, and should not be taken as indicative of some broader tendencies within the early personal ...

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What are all the fixed addresses of AmigaOS?
Accepted answer
14 votes

Actually, the $4 fixed address, more properly referred to as ExecBase, really is the only intentional, consistent fixed software "entry point". ExecBase serves as an entry point to the Exec library. ...

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Official explanation for offering both BOOPSI and GadTools?
3 votes

Both GadTools and BOOPSI were addressing limitations of Intuition before Kickstart 2.0, but from different angles. Intuition provided a great deal of flexibility in how a programmer created and ...

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