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- The download now contains a "TheCartStudio.exe" for Windows users. This wrapper program comes with a proper icons, a version and location test for the Java Runtime and the required Java parameters to ensure enough heap memory is available.
- The download now also contains a "TheCartStudio.sh" for Linux users. This script provides Java with the required parameters to ensure enough heap memory is available.
- The download now also contains a "TheCartStudio.app" for Mac OS X users. This one is still very experimental and is not yet tested as I don't own a Mac OS X machine. But I wanted to get this version out now.
- Online help has been revised. New sections and diagrams in now explain the overall workflow and creating and flashing workbooks. Also the different options to add files directly or via Maxflash Studio and MegaCart Studio are now explained.
- The selected line in the extended menu now uses black text and a more constant and darker flashing. This reduces bending and artifacts on CRT TV.
- Player missile graphics of the extended menu are now disabled correctly before an entry is started. That was an issue for example with Flop Magazine 56 Intro.
- An exception that occurred with ATR files that do neither have a boot manager menu nor are DOS 2.5 disks is fixed.
- New Atari software version 2014-04-07 included. It includes a fix for the CAR or MyPicoDOS when loading OSS modules.
- The "-createSampleFiles" command now correctly creates separate folders "ROM-Correct", "ROM-Size-Too-Small", "ROM-Size-Too-Large".
- Console output for error messages is now routed to "System.err", so the command line can properly distinguish between information and error messages.
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RevEng pointed my to some issues related to using DASM on 64-bit machines. So I took the chance and updated the archive containing all compilers and the zero installation distributions. They now include
- DASM (2.20.11-20140304/2015-04-04)
- KICKASS (V3.39/2015-03-26)
- XASM (3.1.0) for Mac OS X Intel provided by 0xF
For the exact versions, dates and platforms see section Installing Compilers. I've also automated my build for the compilers process on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X, so I can provide future updates hopefully with less effort. I also contacted Mark Schmelzenbach so hopefully I can update ATASM to version 1.08 soon, too.
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Randy Kindig, Kevin Savetz and Brad Arnold are the hosts of the very entertaining ANTIC podcast that focuses on Atari 8-bit computers. In December of last year, I had the pleasure to give an interview to Randy via Skype that has now been released. The download as MP3 is available at http://ataripodcast.libsyn.com. Enjoy 50 minutes of stories and funny explanations why nerdy people do nerdy things.
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On the 2015-29-01 I've given a presentation during the event night at the Digital Retropark in Offenbach/Germany. The event was recorded and is now available a video with German audio. I've created this tutorial page for the Atari 2600 Video Computer System (VCS) to host the related information. The purpose of the tutorial is to show interested people the history of the Atari 2600, explain the hardware design decisions and how they impact the way of programming - making programming the Atari 2600 a very unique experience and challenge. And I show and explain examples that illustrate how programmers adopted the limitations and strengths of the machine to create better and better graphics in the course of 30 years. The following material is available for you:
- English video, recorded at the "plugIn - Geek out" event at SAP in January 2014. This video is 35 minutes long and consists of two parts. The first part gives a short overview of the history and inner workings. In the second part I show how to code for the Atari 2600 using WUDSN IDE. Changing a single line of code and seeing immediately what happens brings you as close a possible to the machine.
- German video, recorded during the event night at the Digital Retropark in January 2015. This video is 1:15 hours long and entirely focuses on explaining the inner workings and how better code made better graphics possible. This video does not contain any coding parts.
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The purpose of the "Atari ROM Maker" is to convert plain ROM files (".bin", ".rom") into cartridge files (".car") within command line scripts. The resulting files will have the correct header and check sum. As a result they will be recognized correctly by emulators and you will not be prompted to choose the cartridge type every time. As opposed to the interactive conversion options offered in most emulators, the command line tool can be incorporated into your build process. This allows for a single build process that creates multiple target formats. For example you can create ".car" files for Atarimax Maxflash, SIC!, MegaCart, etc. with the same script. It is open source, written in pure Java and runs fine on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. The download is available here. The sources are available here.