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§ Altirra 2.00 released

Version 2.00 of Altirra, my emulator of Atari 8-bit home computer systems, is now available. Changes include major debugger improvements, many fixes and improvements to emulation accuracy, emulation of new third-party hardware add-ons, and increased speed. Enjoy!


Comments posted:

Avery you still managed to release a new release later this year.
Thank you very much for your work.

I wish all the best for that, all our dreams come true.
Merry Christmas!

breaker - 24 12 11 - 16:22

Altirra 2.1 test 2 prerelease

features added
SlightSID emulation support.
Disk: Added support for format skewed ($66) command.
Disk: Format commands ($21, $22) now support high-speed operation.
Disk: Added emulation profile modes for various disk drives.
Disk: Reduced ACK-to-complete delay when accurate sector timing is off.
Debugger: Added .sum (sum memory area) command.
Debugger: Added .warmstart command.
Debugger: Added ap (alias pattern) command for adding aliases with patterns.
Debugger: Added additional aliases to a8 command (set Atari800-compatible command aliases).
Debugger: Added alternate L>addr syntax for setting an address range length based on an end address.
Serial: 1030 Modem support.

breaker - 24 12 11 - 16:40

You know Breaker Avery, always too impatient :)

Some of us read the blog and had a good guess about what you would do for Xmas, the clue that you had closed the dev line for 2.0 final a week or so ago was good enough for me.

As already said, thank you and a festive greetings to you, Breaker and all on here...

Mclane - 24 12 11 - 20:37

Phaeron, been playing with the Sid Player and I love it but maybe its me but when I played the same tunes with the emulation off it sounded the same?

IS it just me?

Mclane - 24 12 11 - 20:54

Also might be worth a mention that the Happy drive setting isn't actually emulating the actual workings of a happy drive..Just its read style?

Mclane - 24 12 11 - 21:00

I think Avery still tweak the emulation drives, it's still a first test for 2.1 version.
Sid-player sounds just excellent.
Now there is a altirra abxe, SlightSID ...
lacking only the sap-player.

I'm not sure, but it seemed to me that management in some games (eg river raid) has become more difficult (a little more inhibited.)

breaker - 24 12 11 - 21:13

Ignore the sid player comment, just found the thread on it on Atari Age and didn't realise it needed a driver disk of sorts....Very sneaky Avery, another lovely goody added for us on the quiet...

Really nice, my first machines were ZX80, ZX81, VIC 20, Atari 8 bits, C64, Amiga etc etc in that order, I still have great fun with the C64 and Amiga emulation wise..Nice to get a mix now :)

Mclane - 24 12 11 - 21:33

Sergey, 2nd test for 2.1....Keep up, there was no first version :)

Mclane - 25 12 11 - 00:22


Mclane - 25 12 11 - 00:22

abxe = soundboard.

breaker - 25 12 11 - 00:27

Ah yes, thank you Sergey...

Mclane - 25 12 11 - 01:10

seems not only I have a problem with key pressing.
the impression that the key works with some effort (delayed), I noticed it in the game "river raid".
Avery, please fix it.

breaker - 25 12 11 - 03:04

Happy Christmas all - and thanks for the work and new release! I hope it won't be too annoying if I say the words "paste issue" again? (Still there in 2.1 test 2). All the best, W.

Wesmond - 26 12 11 - 07:24

Wesmond, I'm sure its on Avery's list, he rarely misses a bug / request. He's a busy man with Virtualdub and any other dev projects to work on plus work itself and a private life, but even with all that he does listen to us all and always gets around to a bugfix asap and features as they are possible to add on.

So don't worry, its on his list and as one of the most prolific producers of beta's I've ever seen (even faster than Toni Wilen of WinUae) I'd imagine it won't be that long before the important stuff is addressed.

He even made me laugh out loud the other day, he was debugging the new release of Atari800win Plus...What a nice bloke...


Mclane - 26 12 11 - 21:29

SID emulation on a Atari Emulator ?
Can someone please fill me in what this is, thanks ?

Superb emulator, btw.
Keep up the great work.

DaveKT - 26 12 11 - 21:59

DaveKT read this:

breaker - 26 12 11 - 22:53

Hi Dave

There been a SID player on the Atari for a while called Sid Player, its not bad but some clever person built an add on board called a Slight Sid with a SID chip on there, Phaeron with the co op of the board maker emulated this board for our please.

Here a direct link to the latest boot disk, remember to enable Slight-Sid under the system tab then boot the disk and type xbios, a lovely bit of sid music is yours to listen to.

Read the whole thread, its a goodie..


Mclane - 26 12 11 - 22:56

Dave, for instant playing use my link to get the disk and then use Breakers link to read the whole thread..

Mclane - 26 12 11 - 23:00

Cheers for the links, chaps. Shame that thread degenerated into a SID vs Pokey - even after all this time. I loved 'em both, loved the Atari 800XL of mine more than my old C64, but still have love for them both.
Paul, that disk you mention, is that the attached xdrive.atr ?

DaveKT - 27 12 11 - 07:50

Dave, my link should have taken you to a disk called Slight-Sid.atr although that other disk will work but you will have to type xdrive.lib to make it run...

As for the C64 vs Atari nonsense, I hate fanboys, I owned a vast selection of machine from different companies and loved them all just like you have, to limit your possible enjoyment by boycotting a system because of its maker is just moronic.

Its also ironic that the same Atari vs Commodore people forget that the Amiga is actually what the next Atari was going to be...That must have freaked the brains of the die hard Atari people, knowing that the Amiga which I found the better machine was actually what the ST was to be... :)

Mclane - 27 12 11 - 20:53

Sorry Dave, got the name wrong, its SlightSIDPlayer.atr

Mclane - 27 12 11 - 21:35

Cheers for the link, Paul. I had noscript blocking that site so the link didn't show up, now I have allowed the site through and it's there, many thanks.

DaveKT - 27 12 11 - 23:28

MANY thanks for both altirra 2.0 and the 2.1 prerelease. The latter is especially interesting with the addition of the disk drive emulation modes. I have been experimenting with DOS XE for some time now and these new settings seem to offer a chance to cure the problem with 'initialize disk'. Sadly at the moment 'XF551' mode still does not work in that DOS, giving error 173 if you try to use it on any size floppy disk image. However I am sure these few wrinkles will be ironed out as the prereleases stack up.

Once again my sincere thanks and a very merry Christmas/happy new year to all involved.

morelenmir - 28 12 11 - 02:34

Here's 2.10 test-3:

This version adds Covox support and also fixes a bug that was causing noise in high pass filtering (affected Nemesis demo). I did also do some heavy reorganization on the CPU hooking code, so watch out for SIO/CIO patch breakage.

I'll have to look into the DOS XE issue. It may be another problem with PERCOM block support (grr).

Phaeron - 28 12 11 - 11:20

and what changes in the 2.1 test 4?

breaker - 28 12 11 - 15:09

Fixes XF551 high speed skew format command and a regression in disk SIO patch.

Phaeron - 28 12 11 - 15:37

thanks for the update Avery, excellent emulator is obtained.
covox emulation is good.

but I have one comment:
in the demo program "Brullwurfel" sound is very quiet.
this is the way it should be?
Can you add an option in the emulator to enhance force the sound?

breaker - 28 12 11 - 15:51

more "errors?".
when you run these programs on altirra as "mod_show" or "neo_show" I can not navigate the listings.
in "mod_show" written "V ^ - move cursor".
but if I press up or down, nothing happens.
I tried to change the type of control, I pressed Alt + up and Alt + down, but I did not help.
What's up?

breaker - 28 12 11 - 16:24

Have you tried the + - keys on the main keyboard?

Mclane - 28 12 11 - 21:43

Thank you Paul.
I did not think that the arrow "up" and "down" keys can be denoted + and -.

breaker - 28 12 11 - 22:04

Test 3 also fixed the paste bug! Nice work, thanks!

Wesmond - 28 12 11 - 22:39

If memory serves me (ie I'm too lazy to look at my 800XL) the + - equate to the shifting up and down keys on the XL.

As for you Wesmond, glad to hear its fixed, as said, Avery rarely misses a fix and for those that he does he gets me and Breaker giving him a gentle shake about it. At the moment he (Avery) is reading electronic schematics to work out why a certain value appears in a register on Altirra but not the same on an XL, that's how complex the fixes are, replicating how a pull down resistor would affect the outcome.

Its seriously complex stuff, well above my ageing brain... :)

Mclane - 28 12 11 - 23:59

thanks for test 5, Avery !

breaker - 29 12 11 - 16:28

First of all wish you a happy new year to all.
Well you know what I like most is that the emulator has support for recording tapes.
I was that bothered about it. Sorry.
But so is the perfect emulator. Well it already is at 99%: D

nsonic - 29 12 11 - 23:25

Avery, I and several others engaged in translating emulator altirra 2.0 into Russian language.
We encountered some problems and we need your advice:

1)Altirra/source/uidiskexplorer.cpp Line 1398:
s.sprintf(L"Mounted %hs file system%hs. %d blocks free", fsinfo.mFSType.c_str(), mpFS->IsReadOnly() ? " (read-only)" : "", fsinfo.mFreeBlocks);

" (read-only)" - At this fragment in Russian the coding is lost. How it to correct?

2)Altirra/source/uidiskexplorer.cpp Line 704:
str.sprintf(L"Cannot delete file \"%ls\": %hs", fle->mFileName.c_str(), e.gets());

It is necessary for us for translate (please fix it in following test release):

str.sprintf(L"Cannot delete file \"%ls\": %ls", fle->mFileName.c_str(), VDTextAToW(e.gets()).c_str());

3)Altirra/source/uidiskexplorer.cpp Line 1305
s.sprintf(L"Cannot rename \"%ls\" to \"%ls\": %hs", fle->mFileName.c_str(), event->mpNewLabel, e.gets());

It is necessary for us for translate (please fix it in following test release):

s.sprintf(L"Cannot rename \"%ls\" t0 \"%ls\": %ls", fle->mFileName.c_str(), event->mpNewLabel, VDTextAToW(e.gets()).c_str());

4)found error in source:

Altirra/source/uiсolors.cpp Line 166
const VDStringW& fn = VDGetSaveFileName('pal ', (VDGUIHandle)mhdlg, L"Export palette", L"Atari800 palette (*.pal)", L"pal");

(the error is not critical, but should be corrected, appears superfluous text)
need to:
const VDStringW& fn = VDGetSaveFileName('pal ', (VDGUIHandle)mhdlg, L"Export palette", L"Atari800 palette \0(*.pal)\0", L"pal");

breaker - 30 12 11 - 13:55

Sergey, you got any stuff to show of the covox support in Altirra...


Mclane - 31 12 11 - 01:00

Another couple of tests under the belt and that niggling 'dos xe' problem I mentioned with XF551 emulation looks like it has been squashed! MANY thanks for attending to something that can only be very minor compared to the heavy version changes you have in mind for the future.

Moreover - all this done before the new year has even been rung in... and v2.0 only appeared on Christmas eve itself!

morelenmir - 31 12 11 - 03:08

Paul, you can find demo programs using the device Covox - here:

Happy new 2012 year !


breaker - 31 12 11 - 03:54

A couple of quick observations on v2.1 test 5 to start out the new year.

The emulator settings for disk drive type seem to work properly now all the way up through Atari dos 2.0 to XE. However SDX4.45 has thrown a couple of potential spanners in the works.

Firstly, with 'Burst (polled/SDX compatible)' set and when emulating 'generic', 'fastest' and 'Happy/USDoubler' a format with "Skew" set to 'ultra' will succeed. Using 'XF551' , the fastest skew available is 'HSpeed'. The '810', '1050', 'Speedy 1050' and 'Indus GT' cannot run any skew except 'normal'.

A little further experimentation shows that with 'no burst transfers' set, the 'indus gt' will now allow 'HSpeed' but still not 'ultra'. None of the other drive types show any change in behavior.

morelenmir - 31 12 11 - 16:40

Adds scanlines, an integer-ratio preserve aspect ratio sizing mode, and fixes a couple of more disk emulation issues.

I fixed #4. I don't want to fix #2 and #3 as-is, because I need to think of a more comprehensive way to allow localized exceptions. I'm not sure what you mean by #1. Does "read only" not translate into Russian?

SpartaDOS X's Ultra Speed format relies on a format skewed command ($66) that is only supported by Happy and US Doubler drives, and High Speed uses the $A1 format command only supported by the Indus GT and XF551. I wasn't able to reproduce the issue where the Indus GT didn't allow High Speed, but I noticed that the SDX formatter appears to support the Indus GT poorly -- it tries sending commands at XF551 speed. I did find and fix a problem where XF551 mode didn't reliably set whether format skewed was supported. Test-7 also now sets the correct timeout value for the XF551 ($FE instead of $E0), which might help with detection routines.

Phaeron - 01 01 12 - 17:21

yes this is also needed for translation.
Avery, thanks for the new version!
and especially thank you for scanline filter, I have long wanted to ask you this.

just please make this filter scanlines customizable - so you can adjust the frequency of lines in the filter and the size of the line and then the filter will be fantastic.
in windowed mode filter looks bad, it is necessary to adjust the size of the window a long time.
Please take a look screenshot:

breaker - 01 01 12 - 21:14

Sorry to say Avery the scanlines look wrong unless you choose the stretch mode of multipe fixes only, the downside is a small screen which looks great but too small, any other way just looks like repeated banding.

Depending on the choice of filtering only makes the effect more pronounced and irregular.

As Sergey says, a customisable version would be wonderful if its possible...

Sorry about the neg feedback, its a first..

Mclane - 01 01 12 - 22:21

Once again, MANY thanks Avery for looking at these issues!

morelenmir - 02 01 12 - 03:19

Faust burns in the comments.

breaker - 02 01 12 - 14:51

Avery, these three cartridge does not run on altirra.
need for new mappers.

breaker - 02 01 12 - 15:11

Not sure what you mean by the Faust comment apart from some link to you?

As for the 3 carts, by the sound of the comments it seems that the dumps are wrong AND that its a fake cart with just the Polish version of the game on. The nearest version to working is the barbarian_64MegaXESdump.bin when set to XEGS MEGACART, you get a couple of unpackers running and then dead..

Mclane - 02 01 12 - 21:46

about the cartridges myself do not understand, no only mapper in the emulator does not fit.
let's see what would say Avery.

breaker - 02 01 12 - 21:55

I'm just saying that people with more knowledge than me are saying they are sure the cart is a SIC cart and therefore may not be a good dump.

Avery being the Atari-God will be the man with the knowledge.

And come on Sergey, what was on that Polish emulator site about you, Google makes a mess of the translation..

Mclane - 02 01 12 - 22:08

Can I add another paste issue please? Alphabetical text pasted into basic is converted to upper case. Eg: ? "Skill Rating " when pasted becomes ? "SKILL RATING ". Thanks, W.

Wesmond - 03 01 12 - 04:12

OH - Apologies - that last issue only happens when "send RAW keypresses" is selected - it's fine when "Send cooked key-presses" is selected. Which is probably as expected.

Wesmond - 03 01 12 - 04:34

McLane: I think that Sergey meant that I agreed with him on the scanlines in window mode.
Phaeron: Don't You think about use hlsl's filter from mame/mess?;)

Faust - 03 01 12 - 06:42

At some point in the future would a more in-depth cassette handler be possible - something along the lines of the one in Atari800Win Plus? I think that is the single remaining feature I miss from my defection to Altirra! Really all that would be needed is some mechanism to create blank cassette images. I do appreciate that would probably be quite a weight of coding though - so just a suggestion for when you are next looking at feature requests.

morelenmir - 03 01 12 - 11:53

Tape stuff has been one thing Avery has been less positive towards for various reasons BUT I don't have a clue what he's up to, sometimes we get things right out of left field like the Sid support. Who knows but its all good.

Mclane - 03 01 12 - 22:46

This version adds the ability to copy out text. Why? Because I felt like it. To copy text, drag over the display and either press Alt+Shift+C, or select Copy from either the menu or the context menu. It also has a fix for the Caps Lock key.

Now, as to some of the issues raised above:

I put in the extra fixed multiple mode for scanlines because the density is too high to resample well fractionally unless you have a high resolution display. Using bicubic filtering will help here. Allowing the scanline frequency to be adjusted makes no sense because the scanlines are named after the scan lines of the display, i.e. each horizontal line drawn. This means that no real TV will ever draw less than 192 scanlines for an Atari OS display, ever, and the only way you will get more is if you have a relatively modern TV that does double scanning or more.

Oh, and the scanlines also need to match the orientation of the image. I saw one "scanline" shader that drew straight horizontal scanlines across a curved display image. That's bogus.

The current method unfortunately doesn't allow the width of the scanlines to be adjusted because it is done prior to rescaling. Doing it post rescaling will require a major rework of the display code, particularly because I support more than one display API. Sorry, but that's the way it's going to be for now. Also, a reminder: I generally don't include external code as a matter of policy (and I believe there would be a license conflict in this case anyway).

The cartridge dumps, as far as I can tell, are incomplete. You can get it to partially run if you concatenate the MegaCart image twice to create a 128K image that can be loaded as a SIC! cart. The game decompresses and starts displaying graphics, but crashes soon after.

Paste is not affected by the raw/cooked mode -- p and P are typed as if you pressed P and Shift+P on the keyboard. The reason you're seeing the uppercase result is that that's the default keyboard mode for the OS; if you press Caps Lock to change that, you'll get lowercase and uppercase. I did find a bug in the Caps Lock handling code that was keeping it from resetting the OS Caps Lock state properly and which caused it to only work every second time on my computer, which should be fixed now.

Cassette tape has been requested before, and I've been doing a bit here and there over time... but as I've said before, I hated tape growing up and I still hate it now. It is specifically designed to (a) eat code and data unrecoverably and (b) waste prodigious amounts of time. For these reasons I'm not enthusiastic about recreating the authentic experience.

Phaeron - 05 01 12 - 19:39

Cheers for the 'firm' update, shame about the non ability for the resized fixed multiple mode BUT scanlines are a treat, a nice treat but emulation and your time first as always.

Mclane - 05 01 12 - 20:43

thanks for the update, Avery.
there is a proposal to add new things into altirra.
Can you add in emulator emulation device "Austin Franklin 80" and the "XEP 80"?

if you believe reports from Kr0tki we can see that the emulation of these devices is made in the emulator Atari 800win 2.2.0

information can be found here:
and here:

breaker - 05 01 12 - 22:06

I really like the new 'copy' function! I have been having a lot of fun, the main impetus indeed in returning to first A8W+ and then Altirra has been going through the old basic programming books and typing them in. I use EditPad to produce the listings and then transfer them to the emulator, either through A8W+'s 'H6:' drive or the much better 'paste' of altirra. Being able to then get the code 'back out' as it were from altirra to a text file via the same copy and paste procedure is amazing. I was using 'list "p:"' and then copying and pasting the output, but this is a far simpler and more intuitive method.

morelenmir - 06 01 12 - 17:09

I really like the copy function too - for similar reasons - retyping/testing some books of old BASIC games. I used to be quick at all the control characters when I was a kid... alas, not so any more! Putting Copy/Paste on right-click is also very nice. Thanks also for explaining the CAPS/paste behaviour... the truth has dawned on me and I get it now! So in summation.. THANKS! Great work, great project.

Wesmond - 07 01 12 - 19:47

Avery, game "moon cresta" version 1.5 for VBXE, does not work on altirra.

breaker - 11 01 12 - 18:28

Sergey have you tried both $D600 and $D700 banks?

Previous Rybags releases have versions for both real hardware configurations and worked on Altirra as long as you picked the right location.

Mclane - 11 01 12 - 20:13

Yes, I tried both variants of game, but altirra at file opening suffers crash.
It is possible to look at video:

breaker - 11 01 12 - 20:37

Sergey set your machine memory to 64K, it works then...

Just been testing both, worked on 64K, 128K just died....

Mclane - 11 01 12 - 20:42

Update from Rybags, its designed to only work in 64K, he's basing it on a standard machine with VBXE added..

Mclane - 11 01 12 - 23:37

Whether there will be new tests of the emulator altirra?

atari_fan - 17 01 12 - 19:39


I'm sure there will be, you have to understand that we have been spoilt with the number of beta's Avery has put out, he's much more prolific than almost any other emulator writer. Also he's a busy guy I believe.

Just keep watching here or the AtariAge 8 bit computer forum...

Mclane - 17 01 12 - 21:39

Can anyone tell me what the keypress is for the vertical bar character in Altirra/BASIC? On a real Atari, this would be shift and equals together, but I can't seem to work out the equivalent... Thanks, W.

Wesmond - 19 01 12 - 08:27

I've figured it out. Please, nobody say anything. I'm such an idiot! Too much horrid C++ debugging today...

Wesmond - 19 01 12 - 08:32

We never abuse a fellow user :)

Mclane - 19 01 12 - 22:04

I am having some trouble with the XEGS support.

I have the correct OS ROM(REV4) and what is, I am pretty sure the right 8k 'Missile Command' game ROM image. Both are correctly pointed to in the 'Firmware/ROM Images' dialog box. However if I set Altirra 2.1 test 9 up as 'XEGS' hardware and then disconnect the keyboard in 'Console Switches' it gives the usual handshaking drone and then drops straight in to 'Self test', not Missile Command. This behavior is new over the past few test builds as I had it working with exactly the same setup and ROM files back in 2.00 and I thing maybe up to 2.1 test 2 or 3. I am not sure exactly when it broke though as I have not been looking specifically at XEGS in any depth before now.

I just thought I would mention it and see if anyone else has seen the same thing happen. It could very well be I am doing something stupid without realizing it - but as i say it DID work a few test builds ago.

morelenmir - 20 01 12 - 23:24

Nice spot, seems to be broken..

Mclane - 20 01 12 - 23:50

After a bit of detective work it looks like XEGS broke between 2.1 test 2 and test 3. That does make good sense because Avery warned us he had done a lot of heavy reorganizing under-the-bonnet at that time.

morelenmir - 21 01 12 - 00:06

I have been experimenting with 'Warp Speed Software' and the 'Happy/US Doubler' drive setting. Currently the WSS does not recognize the emulated drive is present, reporting 'HAPPY DRIVES = none!' in its menu screen. The same is true for the 'Indus GT' setting and its own 'SynchroMesh' software.

I am guessing - at least at the moment - that it is not supposed to and the 'Emulation Levels' are more intended to make Altirra's drives physically perform as if they were of whichever type rather than offer a hardware-precise emulation of the nuts-and-bolts drive.

morelenmir - 25 01 12 - 11:40

I think its more that its emulating their physical styles of disc reading ie skew etc, I asked Avery a long long time ago abut emulating the actual workings of a Happy Drive and Archiver and I don't think I got a positive response :)

To be honest I can't remember for sure...

Mclane - 25 01 12 - 18:50

Would you believe I just read your old post a moment before I checked back here Mclane!!!

Yes, Avery was a little... lukewarm shall we say? about the proposal. It was a good long while ago though and I think maybe he has worked out the majority of the core emulation kinks. Hopefully the excellent 'emulation levels' are a pointer he is now looking in that direction for Happy/Indus and so on. It would certainly be a marvelous toy to play with!!! (Quite apart from - dare we mention it??? - cassette imaging and management!)

Still, it has to be said that ANY work Avery puts into Altirra is MORE than kind to us poor lingering Atari fans. Just the features we have gotten over the last few test builds have made it possible to properly use DOS XE - which really is very GOOD and sadly over-shadowed by SpartaDOS - and given me no end of fun since I switched from A8w+.

Many thanks as ever Avery!

morelenmir - 26 01 12 - 05:09

Sorry, guys, I'm a bit busy in real life so updates are going to be slow... but I might as well share some goodies I already had cooking:

Adds drive sound emulation. The sound samples suck since I don't have a real drive and had to synthesize up some samples in Audacity, but that can be improved later. It includes the drive rotation sound, and if you have accurate sector timing on and SIO patch off, seek sounds too. The step rate depends on the drive emulation profile used. Drive idling is also now emulated so you will see the drive indicator dim before the drive shuts off.

Currently, the drive emulation profiles mainly control which method and rate of high-speed SIO is used and whether certain commands are supported (high speed commands, format skewed, read/write PERCOM block, etc). The plan is to improve this over time. XF551 mode already does a couple of other things like adjust the PERCOM handling, the timeout reported by the status command, and the rotation speed.

What the drive emulation modes don't do is actually run code on the drive. This is the main reason that I don't want to do full Happy, Speedy, or Indus emulation. (Synchromesh uploads code, I believe, because the version that's on the drive is fatally broken.) Besides the extra cost, the hardware is also quite varied, since the various drives use 6507, 65C02, 8040, or Z80 CPUs. I haven't looked yet at what the Happy software needs though since it's possible it mainly just wants a few more extended commands, and some of them like read/write track wouldn't be too bad to add.

If anyone can get clean sound recordings of a floppy drive spinning, stepping a single track at a time, and stepping over multiple tracks, I'd really appreciate it. Also, I could use verification on whether the step rates for the various drives are correct. The 810 mode uses 5.3ms/track, the 1050 modes use 10ms per half track, the XF551 uses 6ms per half track and Speedy is ~4ms/half track.

Phaeron - 26 01 12 - 17:13

thanks for the update, Avery!
I was thinking that you have thrown the project.

Avery, and you can correct the error with emulation XEGS?
This is very important to me.

breaker - 26 01 12 - 17:31

Nice update Avery, many thanks..

I'll look see if you have asked re the samples in AtariAge, if not I'll add your request there if you don't mind. The number of possible helpers in there is massive and their tech level gives you the best possible chance of exactly what you want.

Mclane - 26 01 12 - 20:55

Hey Avery!!!

MANY thanks for the update!!! Just take your time sir. There is no rush and I am sure we would all rather you make beta releases when and if rather than getting bogged down and stuffing the whole project in!!!

The drive sounds are very cool! Altirra is now getting close to the feature level that 'Spectaculator' offers for spectrum. I do actually have a physical 1050, but sadly the stepper motor has broken, which was why I stopped using my system altogether back in dim and distant February 1993!

morelenmir - 27 01 12 - 02:01

Paul, you're a sort of bought recently atari, can you record an sounds for drive for the development of the emulator?

breaker - 27 01 12 - 16:58

Fraid not, sadly the 1050 died :(

Mclane - 27 01 12 - 19:45

Hi guys, slightly odd problem here - I have a 32-bit Win XP machine that I can't run Altirra on - I get a crash on startup: Information from Windows looks like this when trying 2.1 test 10 - but have tried a variety of versions down to 1.2 and get similar behaviour. (Different offsets).

AppName: altirra.exe AppVer: ModName: dinput8.dll
ModVer: 5.3.2600.5512 Offset: 000168be

And in the extended bit: Code 0xc0000005, Flags:0 Record:0 Address: 6ce268be.
I have the full dump, but won't post it here... any ideas?

Wesmond - 27 01 12 - 21:25

Wesmond, put the file with the report an error on a file hosting sites such as:

breaker - 27 01 12 - 21:30

A quick bug report. On using the new test 10 with atari dos XE I suddenly cannot seem to write to disk.

The system is set up as an atari 800xl with rambo 320K. The correct ROM images are used as firmware. The disk 'Emulation Level' is set to "xf551" I have the dos xe disk connected to drive one and a formatted and previously working disk in d2:. D3: and D4: are enabled along with a ram disk in d8: There are six file buffers set up. D1: is the standard Dos XE image. D2: is a double sided, double density image with 1440x256 sectorsxbyutes per sector.

When I try to for instance create a new directory on D2: inside dox xe it sounds as if it is working for a few beeps, spinning the disk and then comes up with "Error 139 HARDWARE CONNECTION PROBLEMS". If I escape to BASIC, type in a programme and then tell it to 'save "d2:test.bas"' I get 'Error 139'.

This is a new and fairly crippling bug. The EXACT same setup of disks, disk images and DOS works properly with test 9, but stops with test 10.

morelenmir - 28 01 12 - 00:38

morelenmir, wait a moment do not hurry up, it is not necessary to cover with too many errors.
As I understand Avery now is very occupied or from it any problems so-that it cannot soon let out new beta.
Already it is known about three errors:

1). An error with start of the built in game for console XEGS.
2). An error with emulator start on Windows XP.
3). An error which you have found out.

Let's simply wait for the answer from the author of the emulator.

And in the meantime here have laid out various sounds of work of the disk drive.

breaker - 28 01 12 - 03:59

Thanks Breaker - an upload of the debug info is here:
Happy to help/test/anything as needed - but not urgent if this turns out to be a weird isolated case kind of thing. Thanks, W.

Wesmond - 28 01 12 - 05:15

No problem breaker - I also came across that XEGS issue and reported it too. I have always been told that if you make a bug report you need to make it as in-depth and precise as possible in order for whoever maintains the code to recreate the error condition. I apologize if in doing so any of my posts have given a negative impression. The last thing I intend is to chivvy anyone along and I did actually say in my last post 'Just take your time sir. There is no rush and I am sure we would all rather you make beta releases when and if rather than getting bogged down and stuffing the whole project in!!!.'

I think we are all on the same page here (Page 6 perhaps???) and appreciate whatever effort Avery chooses to put in, entirely at his own pace.

For my own problem with XE I have simply downgraded to test 9, which works amazingly with that version of DOS and I would recommend it to anyone - perhaps even committing the heresy of preferring it to SpartaDOS!!!

morelenmir - 28 01 12 - 13:49

A good bug report is one that gives the author a detailed way to recreate that bug, authors normally hate things like "jumpman crashed why????"

A note of what settings etc were used is good but the best report is the one thats been checked by you so you rule out an error by you. Many bugs are down to things like write enable not being set for an atr or mixing and matching OS and hardware or memory needs.

When that's been checked then post it up and give the details mentioned, if there's a crashdump then add that via a file sharer like Mediafire.

Your report Morelenmir was spot on, everything that Avery would need was in it as far as I can see. All relevant detail is always worth adding.

Mclane - 28 01 12 - 21:18

Cheers mclane!!! I'm still feeling my way along in the Altirra world to a certain extent and its good to know I'm getting some of it right.

Just as a very short aside I would like to ask - is the timing of all the component IC's accurate emulated? I ask because I find my very early fumblings with player/missiles seems quite a bit slower than I would have thought hardware-assisted graphics should be. Horizontal animation is fine, but the up/down movement of the player through its assigned ram block is as slow as something I could managed in pure basic. Maybe I have too high expectation and even more likely my own programming may well be to blame!

morelenmir - 31 01 12 - 02:30

This is something that only Avery can answer 100%, its hos code after all.

My personal viewpoint is that I'd imagine the timings to be more or less exact on a normal PC, Avery's very keen to retain a cycle exact representation of the Atari so I'd be stunned if something coded in assembler would not match the performance of the real thing.

I've not coded player movement for a great many years and to be honest I wasn't that good to start with :)

Posting a snippet of your code may well be useful as Avery would most likely give a comment on it, don't be shy re your coding.

Mclane - 31 01 12 - 04:25

I was just working through the old 'de re atari' examples and attempting to expand on them by putting together an atari version of the 'bomber' game for Spectrum. This is something of a 'hello world' type thing for me as I have tried to create the same in in each language I learn - c++ for windows with gdi and then directx, the TASM assembler for dos and so on. Side to side is fine, but up and down is a bit jerky and on reflection I think it is probably becuase the de re base code uses basic to move the 'player' up and down in its ram slot. It will probably be much quicker in pure assembler when/if I work out atari's version of 'Macro Assembler'!

morelenmir - 31 01 12 - 06:23

I was very surprised when I discovered another bug.
game "Dimension X" - in altirra 2.1 test 10 there was a long band at the top of the screen.
in 2.0 version the error does not.
look at the screenshots:

breaker - 05 02 12 - 00:51

I have been taking the first steps into Atari assembly language over the past few days. While doing so a couple of ease-of-use suggestions occurred to me that maybe would not come up otherwise.

I wonder if it might be possible to attach a keyboard shortcut to the 'BASIC (Boot without Option key)' menu item? This way it is a little more convenient to boot between setups that require BASIC and cartridges/disks that don't. Secondly I wonder if there is a good reason that the 'Disk Drive' dialog forgets which images are plugged in to it when 'Enabled' is cleared? It does become a little tedious having to re-connect - in my own case - the DOS XE and data disk images each time the disk drives are switched off.

Obviously these are purely suggestions and NOT demands in any way. If you think they might be added at some point then cool. If not - equally cool.

morelenmir - 05 02 12 - 08:50

Fixes several disk drive issues, tunes the drive sounds a bit, and fixes the Dimension X regression:

Going over some issues:

- I don't know what's going on with the dinput8.dll startup crash, and unfortunately the WER report is totally useless, but I've added additional code so that the error handler now runs in the startup path as well. If the crash still occurs, the .mdmp file is the one I really need. If you have game controllers attached, try pulling them and see if that makes a difference.
- XEGS game ROM banking should be fixed now.
- DOS XE issue should be fixed now (was a problem with XF551 high speed I/O).
- Dimension X issue was due to a display list timing issue related to a jump instruction fix -- both cases should work now.
- CPU emulation speed should be cycle exact or very close to exact, certainly not off by an order of magnitude. The rule for performance is: anything done in a loop in BASIC is going to be dog slow, no exceptions. BASIC is itself an interpreter, and on top of that Atari BASIC is not a particularly fast one. The only way to get good performance for vertical sprite movement is to move the sprite data in assembly language, which means either calling an ML routine directly or aliasing the sprites on top of string buffers so you can move the sprites with Atari BASIC string commands.

Phaeron - 05 02 12 - 10:28

As ever MANY THANKS indeed for running out a new version so quickly Avery.

I look forward to putting it through its paces.

morelenmir - 05 02 12 - 15:41

Hi Avery, thanks for this!

I've found a way of stopping the Windows XP startup crash. I don't have any game controllers, just standard HP keyboard and mouse (both USB) - but I do use a pretty old Apple Mac cinematic flatscreen (through Apple's ludicrously expensive DVI->WEIRD_MAC_PLUG converter box). The monitor has two USB ports, run from a single USB port on the base unit. When the mouse is plugged into one of the monitor's USB ports, the crash happens; when it plugs into the base, it's fine.

Here's the .mdmp file it makes anyway with test 12 - although sounds like it's not an Altirra problem really?

Thanks again. W.

Wesmond - 05 02 12 - 20:39

XEGS seems broken still, can anyone confirm?

Mclane - 05 02 12 - 21:32

XEGS works fine.

there is no limit to perfection!
thank you Avery for a new beta release of the emulator.

Avery, I want to ask, you do not add sounds for the drives are laid out on the atari age forum?

breaker - 06 02 12 - 00:10

My apols, XEGS fine..My silly error..

Sergey, any chance you could re upload your collection of roms you have, I've had a mini disaster and lost almost every rom in my collection. Disks etc are all ok, just the rom files.

Hope you don't mind?


Mclane - 06 02 12 - 02:25

If you have somewhere I could put them I have just finished gathering together a pretty big collection of ROM images Mclane. They are the ones gr0tki pointed me to on the atariage forums.

morelenmir - 06 02 12 - 03:01

Thanks for the offer, are they in categories ie XEGS, OS etc?

Its just I know Sergeys are in that way hence I asked him...

Cheers Paul..

Mclane - 06 02 12 - 04:22

No problem paul!

I list them alphabetically and then append any required information:

Bounty Bob Strike Back [CART - 40k - Bounty Bob 800]
Basic XE [CART - 16k - OSS M901]
Atari Microsoft Basic II [CART - 16k - standard]

and so on...

Just thought I would offer as the whole A8 community has been very friendly and welcoming to me as a new recruit. Its always my practice to try to give back if possible.

morelenmir - 06 02 12 - 05:09

upload them to then if you don't mind...Just give me the link to them back..Many thanks


Mclane - 06 02 12 - 05:47

Will do Paul...

...And done!

I have never used media fire before, but it was fairly straightforward. I have rar'ed the roms and included a par2 to test their integrity.

morelenmir - 06 02 12 - 06:10

Excellent, nicely labelled and many thanks....Thanks for thinking of the par option, not needed but a great thought just in case...

Sergey, just in case post your again please, there's a chance either way that there's stuff in there for all of us spread across the two sets?

If you don't mind...I know you like you like to collect everything :)

Mclane - 06 02 12 - 09:32

Glad to have helped out Paul!

And... I hesitate to mention ANOTHER dos xe issue...

Okay - NOT in any way a priority, but... When you use the 'File Listing' menu option in DOS XE you are given the choice of 'list to where'. Obviously the default list to the screen works fine. However if you have Altirra's printer emulator running and you choose 'P:' the file listing does not appear in the "Printer Output" window.

morelenmir - 06 02 12 - 14:52

Well, I have a collection of little more ;)

My collection of cartridges:
BAS files, over 1000:
images of the tape, about 3000 pieces:
protected floppy disk images (ATX and PRO):

breaker - 06 02 12 - 15:31

Oh yes, I also forgot to add my collection dumps for atari 5200.

breaker - 06 02 12 - 16:41

Many thanks Sergey...As always a good friend to me and the others in here.

Morelenmir, sounds like a simple bug, although what do I know, I could not code my way out of a paper bag :)

I just sit like we all do awaiting the 'output' of the Atari master known as Phaeron :)

Sigh, I wish I'd actually learnt maths in school instead of messing around!

Mclane - 06 02 12 - 19:27

WOW!!! That is an IMPRESSIVE haul Breaker!!!

At one point I had the beginnings of something similar. WAY back when I first got my 1050 in 1990, after six years of toiling with a 1010 (I do feel Avery's pain on this, despite my enthusiasm for a cassette emulator) my uncle also handed over to me about quite literally 20-30 floppy disk boxes and filling cases filled with the atari cracking club in Portsmouth's complete library. Hundreds and hundreds of compilation disks and games. It was Christmas come early in September. About FIVE Christmases!!! Since getting back into the A8 I have been hunting for my old stash. Sadly I found it in my Grandmother's very damp house, all the boxes have been practically digested by mold and all the disk media surfaces are covered in it. A TERRIBLE loss.

Anyway, narrative digression aside - I am beginning to sense that with all my recent reports Avery might reply to me one day soon with something along the lines of 'You know, I have the complete solution for all these Dos XE issues... STOP USING DOS XE!!!'

morelenmir - 07 02 12 - 07:35

Sorry to say we have all felt that pain you know, I've lost many machines during moves and thousands of genuine games across various formats due to death and other issues. I lost 2 custom machines with hardware proto's never seen from 3rd party people.

Would they have set the Atari world on fire, maybe not but they were special to me...

Its just misery when you have to lose gear and discs you built up for the day it all began, yes, back in the late 70's in my late teens..

Sigh, why can't I invent time travel..Would be quite handy...

Mclane - 07 02 12 - 09:38

Avery, can I ask you one more addition to the emulator?
I want a very long time that-be in altirra BASIC files (BAS) were loaded in the emulator as well as in Atari800Win.
I know you can say that the loading bas files in the emulator is implemented.
but it is very inconvenient option.
Look how easy it bas files are loaded in the emulator atari800win:

pluses loading in the emulator atari800win:

+ It is not necessary to include hard disk emulation.
+ Viewing bas files in a folder through the emulator.
+ Names of files can contain any quantity of symbols (more than 8).
+ There is no necessity to reduce long names of files (to rename more than thousand files it is the present nightmare).
+ It is not necessary to add "RUN command after file loading.

Paul, please do not criticize. ;)
If Avery does it in the emulator, we all win.
emulator will be even better and more convenient for atari users.

breaker - 07 02 12 - 17:23

Its an Idea I love, its always had my vote..

Mclane - 07 02 12 - 18:34

I quite miss being able to 'enter "H6:..."' for BASIC files. I type in all my programmes using EditPad and then with Altirra copy and paste them in. You can actually enter h1: BAS files using the emulated hard drive. However you need to go through the source files and replace the 's with the '^' character.

morelenmir - 08 02 12 - 04:37

And if you can record programs conducted in Basic on a cassette.

NSonic - 08 02 12 - 11:30

Maybe something along the lines of a 'Open source listing' entry in the 'File Menu' might do the job. Although to be honest, once you get used to the convenience of copying and pasting directly into Altirra you forget about the other text entry methods. You can even obviously type directly into it, although I do prefer the comfort and features of EditPad myself.

morelenmir - 09 02 12 - 04:56

A have a quick - and I THINK(!!??) - fairly easy to implement ease-of-use suggestion.

Since attempting to learn A8 assembler I have noticed I use the printer emulator a great deal. It is the only way to output an assembly listing that you can scroll through. A problem I have with this process is the way printed output is continuous. Obviously in reality this was also the case, but you could tear off easy print job. This is fairly hard on the eyes when attempting to trace bugs from individual assembly attempts.

I would suggest either something as straightforward as a 'clear printer output' option somewhere, or maybe something a little more plush like a wavy/jagged line between each print job, simulating where the user might 'tear off' the previous printout and start the new one. Even something as simple as a couple of blank lines between each print job would make assembly output and other code far easier to digest.

Just an idea as ever.

morelenmir - 12 02 12 - 14:29

Sounds like a great idea..Avery likes to help the programmers so I hope this gets added.

Mclane - 12 02 12 - 20:35

I have a new bug report, this time regarding disk format/write in Dos 4.0 (for a change from XE!!!).

Firstly - with 'DOS 4.0' booted in Drive 1 - I create a blank double-sided, double-density image in Drive 2 - 1440 sectors by 256 bytes using "Emulation Level" of 'XF551'. Next, inside DOS 4.0 I 'Configure Drive' as 'DS/DD'. Finally I 'Format Data Disk' with varying results:

1 - The format process appears to work but a directory listing of the new disk reports the strange figure of '708 free sectors' instead of '1400+'.

2- Again, the format appears to work but then returns "error 164" when performing a directory listing on this newly formatted image or attempting to write data from BASIC or ASM.

3 - Sometimes the format process appears to stall, giving sporadic beeps for 10-30 seconds before eventually reporting "error 138".

4 - Most critically, Altirra crashes out altogether and reports 'Altirra Program Failure' and 'Exception Code: c0000094 PC:004ff127 (see on media fire for the 'mdmp' crash dump).

The latter format stall and fatal errors only seem to happen when I create a new disk image but do not save it as a physical *.atr. Also the problem seems to be focused around the ss/dd and ds/dd disk sizes, as ss/sd and ss/ed disks with 'Emulation level' set to '810' and '1020' respectively appear to format and write without any problems.

morelenmir - 17 02 12 - 02:17

breaker, just wanted to say thanks for posting your collection.

avanze - 17 02 12 - 09:15

I am quite puzzled!

After a deal more experimentation with DOS 4.0 I find most of the errors I was struggling with have vanished! I can only think there was some underlying issue with my Win7 installation's runtimes that was cleared on a reboot. However it is not all sunshine and roses!

I have systematically gone through and tested each drive type '810', '1050' and 'XF551' against ss/sd, ss/ed, ss/dd and ds/dd disk images. While the ss/sd and ss/dd images format and give a free sector count as could be expected, the ss/ed and ds/dd images seem wrong. If I understand thing aright the former should produce an image that when formatted offers 1000+ free (128 byte) sectors while the latter should give 1400+ (256 byte) sectors. Instead however a disk directory returns the figures of 513 and 708 sectors respectively... It is very much as if the ds/dd image is only giving a sector count for one of its sides, despite DOS 4.0 claiming to support double-sided disks and the XF551. What is wrong with the enhanced density image I do not know.

Ultimately I am starting to think maybe this is - again, as with the 'XE Whistle' - not a bug with Altirra but an underlying problem with DOS 4.0. I have uploaded (to mediafire: text file that roughly tabulates my simple findings if anyone is interested to check it out.

morelenmir - 18 02 12 - 09:28

And... Scrub the bug report altogether!!!

It finally sank through my thick skull that the 'sectors' which DOS 4.0 reports do not correspond to the physical sectors on the disk image. Indeed, after creating a ds/dd image and then formatting it appropriately the disk directory did report 708 sectors free - as it roughly did with a ss/dd image+format. However, with the ds/dd image the 'sectors' are simply TWICE the size of the ss/dd formatted disk!!! This is proved by saving the same file on first an SS/DD and then DS/DD image. DOS 4.0 might report a 'size' in sectors occupied as say '8' on the former disk but only '4' on the latter.

Isn't it marvelous when you can answer your own question?! Just wish it had occurred to me way back on Friday evening and saved me a rather frustrating couple of days trying to hammer this out!!!

'Annoyed Grunt', as the little bald chap on Sky 1 might say...

morelenmir - 19 02 12 - 10:45

Fear not, you are not the first and will not be the last :)

Mclane - 19 02 12 - 11:54

This version has support for loading BASIC files, but note that it still goes through the boot process and therefore enabling Fast Boot is recommended. It also contains improvements to disk timing prediction so that more protected disks will boot in SIO patched or burst I/O mode, and a new CIO-based enhanced text mode that allows for text screens up to 255x255 and traditional command-line editing.

Phaeron - 20 02 12 - 13:57

it's fantastic!
emulator is really great and the best.
thank Avery for this update.
I waited a long time such changes.

breaker - 20 02 12 - 14:54

Brilliant work Avery...

As always, thank you.

Mclane - 20 02 12 - 18:05

You've done it again Avery! MANY thanks!!!!

morelenmir - 20 02 12 - 23:01

I'm not totally certain what the enhanced text mode is for? Can you guys point me in the right direction?

morelenmir - 20 02 12 - 23:49

What a great emulator this is!

avanze - 21 02 12 - 00:58

Morele, its under the video settings next to the custom font bits.

Quite what its for I'm not sure, it just seems a bigger text area to see text based programs using a windows quality interface.

Mclane - 21 02 12 - 22:00

Aha!! Now I see the setting you mean paul! I think it is maybe a patching of a superior editor environment into the atari interface?

If it gives some of the features of a text editor; cut and paste, mouse control of the caret and so forth I will be VERY impressed indeed! I use EditPad to enter programmes and then copy and paste them over to Altirra - it works very nicely, but is a bit fiddly.

I shall check it out.

morelenmir - 22 02 12 - 10:34

Has found out some errors.

1) 3-D Noughts and Crosses.bas
Game passes the title screen and after drawing of a game field hangs or breaks.
Though on a site http://
The screenshot with game process is shown.
the game is not complete or is it a bug?

2) ATARZEE.bas
Game passes the title screen and after instructions of quantity of players gives out an error.
Again we see a screenshot from game here http://
the game is not complete or is it a bug??

3) alien attack.bas
Game is not started in the emulator.
This game perfectly works on emulator Atari800Win 2.2.1

4) The cartridge is "destiny - the cruiser (proto). Rom".
when you turn the cartridge does not appear the first title screen, it is simply ignored.
can be compared to other emulators atari.

These four games can be downloaded here:

breaker - 22 02 12 - 19:04

1. I think its a case of not knowing what to do control wise, if you hit the keys randomly the game does play and it lets the computer take a turn, manual needed

2. The game is missing a dat file on disk called ATARZEE.DAT, hence you get the error 130 (missing device), that's the one problem with loading individual files, if the program uses extra dat and its not there then it dies.

3. no idea...

4. I'm betting you have BASIC on, if you boot with Basic on it goes to a different screen than if you boot with basic off. As testing bas files turns basic on I'm betting you it was still on when you tested this proto..

Mclane - 22 02 12 - 19:49

I'm thinking the Alien Attack is a broken or wrong file, it hangs Atari800win plus on loading it via H:

Its possible that its NOT an atari file and has crept into your collection, I can't remember which system but there is another system that uses .bas files.

Mclane - 22 02 12 - 19:57 is an Atari file but there seems to be a call for a dat file of some sort in the code..


Mclane - 22 02 12 - 20:06

Even after converting the ascii it still is unreadable other than the D:ALIEN so I guess there is a file missing..

Mclane - 22 02 12 - 20:14

Paul, when I run the cartridge "destiny - the cruiser (proto). Rom" - I have not used BASIC, there is an obvious error in the emulation.

game "alien attack" run in the emulator Atari800Win, NOT ATARI800WINPLUS!

watch the video:

breaker - 22 02 12 - 20:29

Two for Avery then, well done for the video...

Mclane - 22 02 12 - 21:39

If you boot Destiny with basic in it actually works per the video you made.

Mclane - 22 02 12 - 21:43

When I run the game "destiny - the cruiser (proto)." - BASIC is disabled.
BASIC run automatically when I run any bas file.

breaker - 22 02 12 - 21:58

Wait, you are not understanding.....

if you enable BASIC and boot destiny it actually works like the video, try with basic on you will see, its not right but at least can see the title page properly.

Mclane - 22 02 12 - 22:11

hmm ...
You're right Paul.
strange error.

breaker - 22 02 12 - 22:17

But this game should be loaded with the switched off BASIC.
And it occurs in the emulator atari800win.
I understand nothing.

breaker - 22 02 12 - 22:21

Ha ha...I'm just behind you on that :)

I'm sure Avery will have a good answer for us, maybe about where / how the cartridge initialises, I wish he would do a C64 emulator, Hoxs64 is very very good but lacks cartridge and other fancy supports.

Mclane - 22 02 12 - 22:57

3D-Noughts and Crosses... yes - it's about controls - I typed (or proof-read) that one myself! Imagine a 4x4 grid numbered 01 in the bottom left, to 04 in the bottom right, then repeats 05-08, 09-12, and 13-16 along the top. Now prefix it with ABCD from left to right. Eg, D13 is the top-left corner of the right-most plane, A04 is the bottom-right corner on the left-most plane... etc - just push the three keys to make your turn.

I've now typed up about 100 basic programs of all sorts, and observed this... if they work on the original hardware, they seem to work well in Altirra, and if they crash on Altirra, they will do so on original hardware too! A lot of the BASIC stuff I've been typing up is for 16K machines, and insists on writing PMG at page 40... and usually crashes doing so - it overwrites the program code. I replicated it on real hardware. Then I did it on CASSETTE on real hardware and it worked. I booted Altirra with all the drives switched off and PASTED it using the lovely paster that Avery fixed! And it worked.

It's rock solid as far as I can see. But lots of BASIC programs are not! :-)

Wesmond - 23 02 12 - 09:28

PS - I'll try and take a look at the other BASIC ones that are doing funny things...

Wesmond - 23 02 12 - 09:31

Alien attack.bas just looks broken - both Atari800Win+ and Altirra - and a real 800xl - crash at the end of *loading* the BAS file, before you even type run. Try typing "LIST" after loading it. I think it's variable table corruption in the BAS file that causes that behaviour?? It's surprising that Atari800win actually runs it at all - (I haven't tested that myself) - if that's really the case, then can A800win be doing some extra checking that native hardware, or cycle-accurate emulators don't do?

Wesmond - 23 02 12 - 09:46

Interesting - Alien Attack.BAS appears to be copy protected!! (Or at least, some mechanism stops you listing the source!)

I thought I'd try it in Atari800Win 2.2.1, and it crashed like it did everywhere else, and I was just about to ask how Breaker got it working. But then some childhood memory came into my brain, and I did RUN "H:ALIEN.BAS", rather than LOAD, and the game worked. And the same worked in Altirra. I have a distant memory about some way you could do that sort of protection with BAS files by messing up the variable table and then saving it straight away. As soon as the BASIC interpreter takes something from the keyboard (rather than executing the program), I guess it browses the variable table, which is full of gunk, and it gets confused and falls over.

So, conclusion: it's an interesting BAS file, and I wonder how you'd get the source back out of it. (LOAD "H:ALIEN.BAS":LIST "H:ALIEN.LST" won't do it - nothing after the ':' would get executed). But as far as my tests went, all the emulators behaved similarly, so no Altirra bug :-)

Wesmond - 24 02 12 - 00:19

And yes, basic files have been protected from listing for some time, there's a program called Unlock on theAtari that's good for many of them, sadly not Alien Assault :(

Mclane - 24 02 12 - 01:48

Attack, not assault...oops.

Mclane - 24 02 12 - 01:51

The file Alien.bas is List protected. I will post on Forums 8bit an UNLOK program along with the original alien.bas file and the UNLOK.LST program inside of a zip file.


rdea6 - 24 02 12 - 01:59

I have found a bug in 'test 13' with the printer output when used from the assembler/editor cartridge. It may effect other programmes as well, but this is the only one I have tested it on.

After entering an assembler source code, Altirra crashes with the 'Altirra Error' dialog if the command 'ASM, #P:' is given to print the output from the assembly process. This command works properly in 'test 12.'

morelenmir - 26 02 12 - 01:17

BASIC loader switched to a different method that should work with protected files, fixes to disk PERCOM block handling, fix for DOS XE regression with SIO patch enabled, fix for printer regression.

Phaeron - 26 02 12 - 12:05

WOW... Two releases in under a week??? Its like Christmas all over again!!!

MANY thanks Avery!!!

morelenmir - 26 02 12 - 13:25

After a short test drive...

Either I have lost more hearing than usual over the weekend Avery, or else you have cured the 'XE Whistle'!!!

Did you get to the bottom of what was causing it then?

morelenmir - 26 02 12 - 13:42

thanks for the update, Avery, I never doubted you.

breaker - 26 02 12 - 14:51

Really nice fix Avery....Thanks..

Mclane - 26 02 12 - 23:57

Avery, small issue / feature to look at if you get time.

Breaker noticed that the Destiny Proto cart was starting not on the main menu but I had a play with K-razty Shoot out and it does the same thing. Instead of starting on the menu screen it goes directly into game on the first round, what I noticed from what Breaker found was that if BASIC was enabled the games started on the right place and is the case with K-razy Shoot ot, basic enabled and it runs at the menu, basic out and in starts in game.

Deffo worth a look..

Mclane - 27 02 12 - 03:24

Meant to add that the dumps are fine and work from the main screen on the real machine and on Atari800win.

Altirra for some reason seems to make them start incorrectly unless basic is enabled.

Mclane - 27 02 12 - 03:27

Avery, I want to ask for debugger:
Whether it is possible to add in new versions, updating of values in a window of viewing of memory from a debugger on key press or automatically?

breaker - 27 02 12 - 14:51

isn't that what the watch command does?

I'm not sure so just trying to help?

Mclane - 27 02 12 - 22:34

Great. I see Kissin' Kousins on cassette works now.

What's stopping Spy vs Spy Arctic Antics though? On cassette I always get a boot error.

avanze - 28 02 12 - 12:31

As Altirra and Atari800 kick it out at the same place I'd presume its a bad or unsupported dump, ie Avey did mention a long time ago about certain frequencies of cassette he did not support (well that's what I seem to remember but I'm often wrong :) )

Mclane - 28 02 12 - 20:43

Whoops... Spoke too soon about the 'XE Whistle'...

That is maddeningly strange - I tested ii with Assembler editor and a couple of source files without any problem. Now I come back to it and its whistling. Maybe it really was my ears on Sunday!

MyDOS it is then.

morelenmir - 29 02 12 - 02:15

Sorry to hear, as said my daughter suffers the same as you with electronically created tinnitus if you will, our TV in some staes drives her mad, she has to leave the room. I suffer from tinnitus and I don't hear her issue at all.

I'd presume its rf of sorts

Mclane - 29 02 12 - 23:05

It certainly sounds like that sort of thing. It is also VERY strange. It worked without any whistle when I first tested this new build. Now it has started again - and it makes me think that perhaps it IS something I am doing in some way.

Still 'MyDOS' is pretty good, although I am going to ask for a wider blank-floppy image creation dialog if/when Avery has a chance. The option of 40/80 tracks and 512/720 sectors would be extremely useful.

morelenmir - 01 03 12 - 08:21

Since SIDE is emulated in the EMU. is there a key press or combo to simulate the red button press to get back into the FAT32 area of the CF card.


rdea6 - 01 03 12 - 09:44

Avery, recently appeared on the network dump of the cartridge "Magic Dump II".
a cartridge for the right slot cartridge atari.
dump does not work on altirra.
Please look at what's out there a problem?

breaker - 01 03 12 - 17:57

Hope its not another Pill type ram cart?

If not lets hope it can be fixed.

Mclane - 01 03 12 - 20:43

AH, just looked, its a screen dump util for printers..

Mclane - 01 03 12 - 20:44

in one of the sites I've found another 6 turbo cartridges.
now we have 24 turbosoft cartridges.

breaker - 02 03 12 - 20:16

For start of these cartridges use mapper "Williams 64".
And somebody please tell about these cartridges Kr0tki.

breaker - 02 03 12 - 20:23

Nice selection there Sergey, thanks..Happy hunting..

Mclane - 02 03 12 - 22:05

many thanks for these breaker! Adding them tot the collection now.

morelenmir - 03 03 12 - 02:28

bugs fixed:

POKEY: Fixed asynchronous receive mode not resetting timers 3+4 that are already running.
IDE: Fixed banking in KMK/JZ V1 mode and added 3K ROM support.

thanks for Update, Avery :)

breaker - 07 03 12 - 18:12

Many thanks Avery! Looking forward to testing this later!

morelenmir - 07 03 12 - 22:15

Just a little bump for this..The carts are or seem to be initialising in the wrong place or somehow it thinks STRT is being pressed or a Joystick button as the carts appear to run 'in game'

I've only noticed 2 carts so far but there may be more, running altirra with BASIC enabled fixes it which is obviously wrong.

Breaker noticed that the Destiny Proto cart was starting not on the main menu but I had a play with K-razty Shoot out and it does the same thing. Instead of starting on the menu screen it goes directly into game on the first round, what I noticed from what Breaker found was that if BASIC was enabled the games started on the right place and is the case with K-razy Shoot ot, basic enabled and it runs at the menu, basic out and in starts in game.

Mclane - 07 03 12 - 22:19

Paul, you're right.
Avery, please note for this error and if you can fix it.

breaker - 08 03 12 - 01:09

I should note that the game is "K-razty Shoot out" was released in two versions:

1) k-razy shoot out (k-byte). Rom
This cartridge is functioning properly in the emulator altirra.

2) K-Razy Shoot-Out _ CBS Software.rom
This cartridge is there a bug with the omission of the title screen on the emulator altirra.

breaker - 08 03 12 - 04:39

That was happening because the SDX ROM was enabled. Since there aren't any SDX banking registers on the V1 hardware (that I know of), it isn't supposed to be there and I disabled it:

Thanks Avery..

Mclane - 08 03 12 - 18:34

I already wrote about it earlier, but all I will try to ask once again.
To that now for this purpose there was an occasion.

Avery, I think for the complete collection can be added emulate 1200XL, suddenly come in handy.

Paul, I beg you, please do not criticize and try to just listen to me.

Avery, you have added emulation of consoles XEGS and various options for the memory for the early models atari.
I want to ask you to add 2 more small improvements emulator.
may seem a bit silly they are, but it would be more correct, it will be more accurate.

I'm talking about support BASIC in the early models of atari.
If you look at the boot atari earlier models can be seen that this is done in altirra not correct.
Read the FAQ page:
See section "Subject: 1.2) What is the Atari 400?" and "Subject: 1.3) What is the Atari 800?".
it says:
Boot options:
Memo Pad
- Turn on computer with no cartridge inserted and no powered disk drive.
- Turn on computer with cartridge inserted.
1. Hold down [START] while turning on the computer.
(System buzzer sounds.)
2. Press [PLAY] on the program recorder.
3. Press [RETURN] to load and run cassette program.
- Turn on computer with disk inserted in powered disk drive.

everything is done correctly, but there is one inaccuracy.
If I turn on the option "BASIC (Boot without option key)" then first condition:
>>> Memo Pad
- Turn on computer with no cartridge inserted and no powered disk drive.
is not satisfied.

instead of running "memo pad" I see BASIC.
This is wrong.
on the early models Atari 400, 800 and 1200XL BASIC was not available initially.
BASIC there can only be seen in the case when I insert into the slot for cartridges, cartridge with BASIC.

I beg you, please do so by selecting Firmware OS-A, OS-B or Atari 1200XL - option "BASIC (Boot without option key)" has been blocked so as was done when choosing atari 5200.

BASIC on these models should be included only if in the slot for cartridge is inserted into the cartridge containing BASIC.

and if possible, add the emulation of Atari 1200XL.

this is a very small change.
you just have to add another item on the menu "Rom images" option and blocked "BASIC (Boot without option key)" when selecting models OS-A, OS-B and 1200XL.

so would be more correct, because, just as on real atari.
I hope for your understanding.

I believe that having made correct loadings OS for атари you also will get rid of an error in two games:
K-Razy Shoot-Out _ CBS Software.rom
And destiny - the cruiser (proto).rom

Pay attention, BASIC on atari it is blocked by a key "OPTION" - F4.
On the emulator atari 800win 2.2.1 it is key F3.
If in the emulator atari 800win 2.2.1 to press key F3 we will pass to the second screen of game.
In the emulator altirra at switched off BASIC as works key press "OPTION".

And at last one more error:
If to disconnect options System--> Firmware--> Fast boot and to make following,
To press key "SHIFT F5" and to keep pressed key F2 "START" - we get on the screen of loading tapes, but the sound "System buzzer sounds" thus is not audible.

breaker - 11 03 12 - 20:15

Sergey I don't always criticise your requests, only when its something you have asked for too many times.

I see nothing wrong in what you ask in that post, its all good with me, I want the emulator as best as possible too you know :)

Mclane - 11 03 12 - 21:54

Just one thing, the system buzzer could be two things, the SIO noise to signify a tape load being started or in the case of the Atari 800, its inner speaker making a buzz.

Most people forget the 800 had a little speaker which some clever people used to play noises.

Just saying.....

Mclane - 11 03 12 - 23:53

sorry paul, I have about half the text copied from another part of the blog, so do not immediately notice the phrase.
If Avery does what I ask, we for one shot obtain four benefits:

1) The correct loading of operating systems atari.
2) the error will disappear in two games.
3) the emulation of 1200XL
4) Fix the sound when you switch on load tapes.

breaker - 12 03 12 - 02:52

Sergey, I have no problems with your questions, calm down or I'll bomb Omsk with my old socks :)

I totally support your questions...Now sit down, sip a nice glass of Vodka :)

Mclane - 12 03 12 - 03:06

ha ha ...
it amuses me.
do other countries think that the Russian must drink vodka, go to the hats with earflaps and dance with the bears.

I prefer a good beer or wine)

breaker - 12 03 12 - 03:59

I'm a wine person myself (and the wife) but yes I'm afraid the stereotype of a Russian is a very drunken male with short hair staggering about in the snow having done some seriously stupid thing like fighting or setting himself on fire.

Normally with a bottle of wodka around..

Sadly that's the person you see on youtube all the time, don't worry, we all don't believe it :)

Mclane - 12 03 12 - 04:07

And how is your bear ;)

Mclane - 12 03 12 - 04:07

While we are talking about a separate firmware slot for 1200xl, might I also suggest a similar addition for the 130xe rom? Currently I am running with that same ROM plugged into the xl/xe slot which is not ideal.

Have you ever come across the guy who calls himself 'FPS Russia' on youtube? I do enjoy his videos very much, but the humour is in the same way as John Steed was a realistic image of an englishman!

morelenmir - 12 03 12 - 06:38

Yes, I believe he's actually American (Well I know he is but can't remember where from), the trouble is he likes to fake some of his stuff by adding small amounts of explosives to make the bang 100X what it would be..

He gets hold of some lovely hardware...

Mclane - 12 03 12 - 06:54

As for the additional rom slots, yes I'd agree its about time since there's loads of rom slots for other stuff, 2 more won't hurt.

Avery, your public has judged you :)

Mclane - 12 03 12 - 06:55

I tracked [H: problems] down to some changes I'd made to the CIO hooks a bit cleaner, which also happened to make them a bit more broken by dropping the SPECIAL hook. This version has a fix:

Mclane - 12 03 12 - 19:21

For anyone reading this, I'm just posting the link from AtariAge..Nothing to do with me...

Mclane - 12 03 12 - 19:23

Mclane, I always wondered from where you were getting these betas. Well, keep 'em posted.

avanze - 12 03 12 - 21:12

Avanze, my pleasure, Avery is often AtariAge forums helping people so posts his new version on there sometimes, me and Breaker simply paste them in here so the blog gets them too.

Just incase people think people like me get the beta's before anyone, nope, I wait like everyone else ;)

Breaker sometimes cheats tho :) (He knows what I mean)

Mclane - 13 03 12 - 00:28

Interestingly, Avery reads this blog or he just ignores us?
his last post here on February 26.

breaker - 13 03 12 - 03:06

On the matter of ROM files; as mentioned I have a 130xe ROM which I use in the XL/XE slot that claims to be PAL, is there any difference to a potential NTSC version (which I don't have). None of the other rom slots have a split option between NTSC and PAL (despite the OSa and OSb roms for 400/800 coming in either video standard) so... Something that is minimally perplexing me.

morelenmir - 13 03 12 - 06:40

morelenmir, Paul, tell me please.
Where can I get ROM files (BIOS) from atari 130XE and atari 65XE?

breaker - 13 03 12 - 15:51

I picked up quite a few ROM files from that 'ftppigwa' site I think either you or paul pointed me at a couple of months ago - including really weird ones like for the never released 1450 XLD system and even the jaguar console! I could rar them up and put them on mediafire for you if you like sergei, or you might want to check out the ftp site itself as there were a load more like the ROMs from disk drives and so on that I did not bother to download. A slight caveat though, I only have an arabian version of the 65xe ROM - in fact I think its the only one that is out in the wild!!!

morelenmir - 13 03 12 - 16:10

Put them somewhere please.
I searching a few BIOS images for atari:

atari 800XL

Bios others I have.

breaker - 13 03 12 - 16:24

No problem sergei!

I have rar'ed up the files I have which match your wants, although as I say the 65xe rom is supposed to be in arabic. They are on mediafire at:

Hope they help!

morelenmir - 13 03 12 - 16:31

Thank you.

Hmm, I checked the file "Atari 400-800 OS REV. A (NTSC). rom" on the emulator atari 800win 2.2.1.
emulator says that the file is incorrect, maybe Kr0tki knows the correct BIOS, this is emulator write he.
download the new build of the emulator here:

and where to get the usual 65XE (not Arab)?

breaker - 13 03 12 - 17:00

Phew ...
climbed a lot of forums and websites.
as a result I was able to collect all the Bios for the atari.
checked the crc-32 on this page:

breaker - 13 03 12 - 19:15

Many thanks for those sergei! I shall add them to the collection.

Sorry about the ntsc rom, its not one I have used myself so I hadn't realized their was a problem. Sadly the arabian bios is the only 65xe rom I have ever seen, but I will certainly keep looking.

morelenmir - 14 03 12 - 03:57

updated the bios collection, has added a lot of missing files, prototypes, correct images "xegs built-in game" and more.

breaker - 14 03 12 - 18:26

That really is an EXCELLENT collection sergei, especially the disk drive ROMs! Maybe the Happy and Indus bios images will help Avery when/if he does look at properly emulating those two devices!

In the mean time, if we can get those extra slots worked out then Altirra will be able to use these ROM's to emulate just about every device Atari every put out.

Once again MANY THANKS breaker old son!!!

morelenmir - 15 03 12 - 10:37

I'm thinking about 7 zipping my entire 8 bit collection and putting it up, Sergey would you be willing to do the same?

Mclane - 15 03 12 - 21:00

so ready.
but I think the size is too large :)

breaker - 15 03 12 - 21:03

Break it down to 50mb rars or so?

How big?

Mclane - 15 03 12 - 23:13

Please post all you have guys, Mclane and breaker. You have both been to helpful.

Just know it's much appreciated.

avanze - 15 03 12 - 23:55

more than 1GB :)))

breaker - 16 03 12 - 01:03

A quick question sergei, are the 'atx' files in your distro full VAPI files?

morelenmir - 16 03 12 - 12:48

My collection is a dvd worth so I'm not going to post it BUT if Breaker, morelenmir & avanze want I'll send you each a dvd with it, be warned its NOT very well sorted, its got dupes and generally a bit of a mess but if you want it then send me an email to mclaneATbulldoghomeDOTcom.

Exchange the AT and DOT for the right bits :)

Breaker, will you send yours to me? (asking you to upload it is a bit much)

Mclane - 16 03 12 - 21:33

MANY thanks paul!!! I may well take you up on that at some point.

I have currently got my hands full identifying, labeling (with my own OCD naming scheme!) and stripping out duplicate cartridge ROMs from my own fledgling collection... Old breaker has given me quite the job - in a good way of course!

I am finding the cartridge list from atari-mania absolutely essential, although the non-unicode *.CSV format it comes in is not the most user friendly. If anyone is interested I have converted it into a fully unicode MS Excel document, tidied it up a little and would be more than happy to upload it somewhere. Ah, but there I go again - demonstrating my inner mania for order and cohesive formatting!!!

morelenmir - 17 03 12 - 12:22

morelenmir - yes, ATX files are images of Vapi.

Paul, what do you want?
February 6th, I laid out nearly his entire collection, and since then little has changed.

later, after a few days, I'll post something interesting, but not now.

morelenmir, Paul, I want to ask two things:

1) where can get software for XEP-80?
2) where can find the BIOS files to emulate the hard drive:
Side, KMK-JZ IDE, IDE plus 2.0?

breaker - 17 03 12 - 16:38

That's good to know about the VAPI images sergei - I try to grab those as soon as atari-mania releases a new one.

Question 1 I am not sure about but I can help you with question 2, at least my own approach to it. The way I got the hard drive ROMs was to first enable the appropriate emulation in the 'hard drive' dialogue box, for instance SIDE. Once that was done I simply installed the corresponding flash update from its floppy image. Once the flash update had completed successfully I then used the matching 'File->Save Firmware' menu item to produce a complete ROM. The last stage was then to copy that newly created up-to-date ROM file into my Altirra ROM folder and point the appropriate firmware slot at it. Once SIDE is done then you can repeated the steps for KMK-JZ IDE and IDE Plus 2.0 in turn, the process being identical. Each of these updates can be found on their respective makers' sites. If you have any trouble with finding them I can upload my copies for you sergei.

morelenmir - 17 03 12 - 19:01

morelenmir, if you can, please put your images.
also here:
I found info on "IDE plus 2.0".
files are needed "SDX444_ide +2. rom and IDE2006.rom".

breaker - 17 03 12 - 19:24

Sure thing Sergei.

I have uploaded all four hard drive controller ROMs to:

These consist of both the latest LBA1210 native and SpartaDOS ROM's for IDE Plus 2.0, KMK-JZ IDE version HDB111 and the SpartaDOS ROM for the SIDE controller. In both cases the version of SpartaDOS is 4.45. I can confirm these work as I use them regularly. Hope they help.

morelenmir - 17 03 12 - 20:06

morelenmir, thank you very much, you helped me a lot !

I'm going to uploading interesting.

breaker - 17 03 12 - 20:18!download|720p9|..

This archive contains software, information, pictures and more on devices for atari have not yet implemented in altirra.

breaker - 17 03 12 - 21:57

Sergey, was thinking of what you have as xex and atr's?

Mclane - 18 03 12 - 03:03

No problem Sergei, I'm glad to be able to help.

Downloading your latest distro now!!!

morelenmir - 18 03 12 - 03:30

xex and atr file types I do not collect because it is the most extended of file types.

breaker - 18 03 12 - 15:00

morelenmir, I have a problem with the hard drives emulation.
If you are not hard to please make a video "how to emulate a hard disk", I (and not just I) would be very grateful.

p.s. the easiest way to record video program, "Camtasia Studio".

breaker - 18 03 12 - 16:03

Here's an updated version:

Main new feature is 1200XL support. This includes the two LEDs -- keyboard disable (Ctrl+F1) and international character set (Ctrl+F4) -- and the self-test jumper. There is now also a 1200XL ROM entry, because that ROM is special (Atari logo, doesn't automatically go into self test, and is generally less compatible). The 1200XL does not have built-in BASIC so you will need to attach the BASIC cart.

I've also decoupled the BASIC option for 400/800 mode so that you have to attach the BASIC cart manually instead. Remember that you have to hold Option on real Atari 600XL/800XL/XE hardware to disable BASIC, so that's where the issues come from with carts. The key is that Altirra doesn't necessarily know when it should hold this key when you say you don't want BASIC -- depending on how the cartridge is set up it may execute either before or after the OS checks this button, or you may be running a custom OS ROM that has this function inverted.

The OS normally rings the system buzzer when you hold START on bootup to load a cassette tape. This is your signal to press Play on the cassette deck and then hit a key to start the load. There was a bug in the 2.10 test release line that caused the SIO acceleration hook to always be enabled, which was preventing the click from occurring -- this should be fixed now and it'll sound if you have the cassette SIO hook off.

I did some searching, and it doesn't look like there are significant differences between rev.2 and rev.3 of the XL/XE OS, so I don't think I'll be adding an XE ROM slot just yet. You can always use Other OS for now, though. The OS-A and OS-B ROMs are significant because of hardcoded addresses and the 1200XL OS is notable for its logo and incompatibility, but I haven't heard of compat issues between rev. 2 and rev. 3. Rev.4 has more significant changes, but there is already a slot for the XEGS.

Phaeron - 18 03 12 - 18:31

Avery, thank you for calling attention to us and thank you for your understanding.
Emulator even more closer to the real atari.

There are several errors:

1) using the system XL \ XE, XEGS.
when the BASIC enabled, if you hold down at startup (F3 OPTION) - emulator must pass to the screen self test.
this condition is not satisfied.

2) are not fulfilled the conditions for the system boot XEGS.
Please read the "Subject: 1.5" - "Subject: 1.10".

3) games
K-Razy Shoot-Out _ CBS Software.rom
And destiny - the cruiser (proto). Rom
if switched off BASIC - loaded incorrectly.
it should be?

breaker - 18 03 12 - 19:52

ups, about a third question - I understand.
If when you turn on the games press and release the key (F3) games are loaded correctly.

breaker - 18 03 12 - 20:14

Second, OPTION = F4 not F3.

breaker - 18 03 12 - 21:22

In 1200 mode the CTRL + F1 just does what its mapped to do and that's change the strech filter mode, CTRL + F4 seems to do nothing that I can see but I bet its mapped to something. I'm just trying to see these emulated LEDs for 1200 mode?

Mclane - 18 03 12 - 22:29

Sorry, was the filter mode it changed..Still no leds :)

Mclane - 18 03 12 - 22:31

Am I the only person with the 1200 issue I wrote about above?

Mclane - 19 03 12 - 21:56

Paul, you're not alone.
I also noticed this error.

when you press "ctrl + F1" - changing filters in the emulator.
and by pressing "ctrl + F4" - nothing happens.

Although I have seen these indicators, if you select a model 1200XL computer and enable the option "Force self-test".

breaker - 20 03 12 - 03:06

Sergey. I've seen a 1 and a 2 come up during the ram & rom test but they seem to change in time to the test and not by a keyboard press.

Mclane - 20 03 12 - 03:26

There's also another 1200 issue.

If you play the emulator as a 800XL with basic enabled and then switch over to 1200 mode it still shows the BASIC as enabled with no option to disable it in either the system menu or remove it as a separate cart?

Either its just a status bar visual error or basic is still enabled, avery says that the 1200 has no internal basic so you have to add it as a cartridge yourself yet you cannot remove it this way with the above problem so I'm guessing its just a message glitch on the status window bar.

Mclane - 20 03 12 - 03:31

Yes, 1200XL has no support BASIC.
BASIC on 1200XL can be started only in that case if into the slot for cartridges inserted cartridge containing BASIC.

Paul Avery please read this:
this text is taken from
it describes the correct loading of all modes of atari computers.

Atari 400 (OS-A), Atari 800 (OS-B), Atari 1200XL - everything is absolutely correct.
Atari 600XL, Atari 800XL, Atari 65XE, Atari 130XE, Atari 800XE - one condition is not met.

>>>Self Test program
- Hold down [Option] while turning on the computer with no cartridge
installed and no powered disk drive.

breaker - 20 03 12 - 04:02

Oh well a couple for Avery to fix :)

Mclane - 20 03 12 - 04:13

Sorry, folks, but the only legit bug here is BASIC showing up on the caption bar in 1200XL mode.

The the Ctrl+F1 and Ctrl+F4 combinations are on the Atari keyboard. In order to hit these, you need to enable the function keys in Input | Keyboard Options. This replaces the normal F1-F4 keys in the emulator with ones on the emulation keyboard. With that option enabled you will be able to turn on the LEDs and activate the corresponding OS functions. Note that these keys only exist on the 1200XL.

The issue with not being able to hold Option manually to activate the self test -- or rather, disable BASIC -- is that you can't do it fast enough. Note that the instructions say to hold them down at power-on. In Altirra, this is either when you start the emulator or Cold Reset (Shift+F5). The problem is that you only have 1/10th of a second before the OS checks the Option key, which means if you're trying to hit Shift+F5 and then quickly hit F4 there's no way you'll make it in time. If you bind it to a controller or hold F4 while selecting Cold Reset from the menu with the mouse then this will work.

Phaeron - 20 03 12 - 17:23

Thanks for the feedback Avery, the 1200 thing just needed the explanation initially, sorry we are not all super guru's like you :)

Glad one was actually a bug so not a complete waste of your time.

As said, we appreciate the information, helps us to help you in a small way.

Mclane - 20 03 12 - 20:57

Just one little thing, is there a way to boot bas programs on the 1200, I tried attaching a basic to it in the normal way, as a secondary cart and lastly as a special cart which has a Basic entry. All show the machine as booting with basic enabled and you can type away but if you try and boot a bas program with the new bas loading way the machine seems to clear out the basic cart and boot back to the logo.

Is this meant?

Mclane - 20 03 12 - 21:37

Avery, I would like to ask one small improvement in the following builds of the emulator.
Please add a file association type file "*. bas".
icon for that file type can be taken from the "xex" files, only the color change.

breaker - 21 03 12 - 18:19

Yup, as they are now bootable they should have an entry and icon.

I've associated them manually, not perfect but works ;)

Mclane - 21 03 12 - 22:56

Altirra 2.1 test 20

Cartridge: Added MicroCalc 32K cartridge type support.

MicroCalc ?
Avery, what it for a cartridge and where it is possible to take it ?

breaker - 23 03 12 - 21:14

Its a spreadsheet cart, hunting now for version 2.2...

Mclane - 23 03 12 - 21:54

No joy..Someone has it...

Mclane - 23 03 12 - 22:05

Just noticed that the 1200 Basic bug actually affects all the systems, once that BASIC is added you can't get rid of it and from what I can see its not just the word basic that's the error, its actually being loaded in.

The only way to get rid of it is to do a reset all settings via command line or delete your cfg in portable mode.

Mclane - 23 03 12 - 23:01

Sergey, microcalc is linked to on Atariage on a new thread from Atari mania, there's also another cart that's new...

Mclane - 24 03 12 - 05:34

POSSIBLE ISSUE with 1200XL HW support:

Can't fully qualify this one (no real 1200XL HW available), but here's the issue, nonetheless:

1. Setup in Altirra is SDX (8MB cart version) + 1088K + TBASIC XL.

2. The action/test scenarios are a) right after loading TBASIC + BYE command, and b) right after loading TBASIC + loading any short .BAS program of your like + LIST command + BYE.

3. If you perform #2.a and #2.b, above, in 800XL mode, you succesfully end-up in "black-board' mode in both scenarios(e.g. Self-Test, as pointed by vector $E471).

4. If you perform #2.a and #2.b, above, in 1200XL mode,you seccesfully end-up in "black-board" mode in #2.a, but FAILS in #2.b scenario.

CANNOT tell if it is an incompatibility between 1200XL & TBASIC, or Altirra's handling of 1200XL mode, or if this should be normal 1200XL behavior, or simply a bug in TBasic... but the issue is definitely there, as described above.

Maybe worth looking at...

Faicuai - 24 03 12 - 08:24

thanks Paul :)

breaker - 25 03 12 - 16:05

As always I seek to strengthen British and Russian relations... :)

Sergey, what you do for a job if you don't mind me asking?

Mclane - 25 03 12 - 21:47

Hi all,

Just a couple of tiny issues with the keyboard in BASIC.

Firstly, the CAPS key seems to behave a bit differently from original hardware - I can't quite put my finger on what it is (sorry, terrible pun), but if you tap CAPS followed by some letter key quite quickly (and repeat the two a few times if you like) you hear both clicks each time, but the letters don't change case. (This happens in both cooked/raw keypress mode). It's hard to pinpoint exactly, but if you type quickly in basic, occasionally it notices a little.

Secondly - in "cooked" keypress mode, the repeat rate is a bit slow/inconsistent. But it is perfect in "raw" mode.

Very minor things. Thanks for all the ongoing work on this!


Wes - 27 03 12 - 09:01

Drop in sometimes Avery, the waters fine :)

Looks like real life is keeping you very very busy, best of luck with that.

Mclane - 29 03 12 - 19:45

Hey guys!

Just dropped in to say 'Hey'. So-called 'real life' has been occupying me also for the past few weeks without much time for ASM or enjoying Altirra. Looking forward to whatever Avery is cooking up next though - fingers crossed for more emulated hardware to play with!!!

morelenmir - 01 04 12 - 08:55

Sorry, not a whole lot new, but:

Adds cartridge type autodetection. It won't always work -- some cartridge types are difficult to detect, especially with compression -- but it will pick up some of the more specialized types like SpartaDOS.

Phaeron - 01 04 12 - 11:51

thanks for the update, Avery!
I found a few games which are not properly defined.
Tomorrow accomplish your goal in detail.

breaker - 02 04 12 - 00:22

Avery, please download this file, it contains a bug report, and dump of the cartridges.
this is not all errors !

breaker - 02 04 12 - 17:41

Sorry, not a bug -- the autodetector can't and won't be able to detect all cartridges. Some cartridge types are tougher to distinguish than others, and the Turbosoft types are among those. I have some ideas about possibly distinguishing OSS 034M and OSS 043M, but it will probably take a tracing analyzer.

The cartridge images that open immediately are the ones that already have headers that specify the cartridge type. There's no need for the emulator to ask.

Phaeron - 02 04 12 - 17:54

Avery, you can do a lot easier.
Allow me to offer their version of the definition of cartridges.
Cartridges should be tied to their crc32.
and in the emulator to add support for data-base of the cartridges.

will make it very simple:

1) add in the emulator to the section tools, database creation cartridges.
2) add an option in the emulator to use the base cartridge or not.
if the base will not be used - ink cartridges will be open as before.

database creation is very simple:

using the utility "create database cartridges" creates a file containing information about the cartridges.
in the file will simply be indicated:

crc32 the file.
the file name.
mapper type used in this cartridge.
type of operating system atari.

at the opening cartridge in the emulator (if you use the base is allowed), the emulator will be compared with the base file and open cartridge according to the instructions.

This method has many advantages:

+ error-free opening of all types of cartridges.
+ Continuously updated database of cartridges.
+ opening of cartridges for the machine 5200 or OS-B at the chosen another type of machine.

breaker - 02 04 12 - 18:29

I like the idea Sergey but one question (no I'm not being negative as you will see)

Are you saying you have a database utility that lists the mapper type and type of os?

If yes how, thats the very issue phaeron has with the auto detection, there's no clear defined pattern to latch on to so I suspect he would be very interested in how this utility has done it.

If you have a utility please pass it on to Avery as it could solve his problem

As I said, I like the idea, I suspect the crc md5 would be the way to go list these carts and as you say the emulator could look them up from an internal db.

Mclane - 02 04 12 - 18:52

The more I think of it the more I like the idea Sergey it but I have a feeling that Avery may not like it BUT I hope he does.

The reasons are

reliance on an external db

exe bloating

non wish to use external data files (ie he likes it all contained in the code of the exe) but saying that he reads a cfg for portable mode so I'm possibly wrong.

And lastly unknown dumps BUT these could just bring up the current selection box for the user to try.

As I say I really like the idea and hope Avery goes for it, nice thinking Sergey.

Mclane - 02 04 12 - 18:59

I likely explain very primitively.
To that still problems with English language.
Here, approximately so it can look:
It is created by means of program Reshack.

Avery, I hope for your understanding.
I wish only the best for the development of the emulator.

breaker - 02 04 12 - 19:20

Paul, the utility will be inside the emulator, under tools.
It will simply add a record to a file.
record in the file will look something like this:

BDCA01FB; missile command; mapper: 8k; oss type XL \ XE.

emulator simply reads these instructions when you open this cartridge and executes it.

breaker - 02 04 12 - 19:28

database will appear as a small file in the folder of the emulator.
file can be of type txt or something like that.
I think we will be able to quickly fill a database.

breaker - 02 04 12 - 19:33

Sounds like a good idea Sergei. The SQL Server runtime is not huge, or the installation process could set up a windows native odbc connection.

However, this will introduce quite a bit of code into altirra that does not specifically do anything for emulation. I could understand if Avery was not totally sanguine. Nonetheless I do like the idea very much, but personally I would like to see him put the programming effort into more hardware and peripheral emulation first.

morelenmir - 02 04 12 - 22:21

Aha, I actually thought you had a utility that does this databasing, but its merely an idea.

I still love the idea but there's no need for extra windows, a simple crc & md5 db which Altirra referenced would be enough, if it was not on there then open up the mappers choice window. There's already a cartridge list maintained on Atariage but I'm not sure if it contains the crc and md5 in it?

Mclane - 02 04 12 - 22:57

Oh, a personal message to Michael, if you are wondering where the disk is then let me apologise, I totally forgot as I've been in and out of hospital doing tests and trying to get a hernia sorted.

Sorry about that, I'll post it tomorrow when I'm visiting my in laws.

Mclane - 02 04 12 - 23:00

VERY sorry to hear that Paul! Hope all goes well.

The Atariage list has CRC and is entirely responsible for whipping my budding collection into shape! It does only come as a CSV file though and I do not know how useful that would be. I had to carry out some unicode text-conversion jiggery pokery just to get it properly legible in Excel. It may be possible to whip it up into a d-base compatible form.

morelenmir - 03 04 12 - 00:56

Mclane, no problem. I hope you're feeling better.

avanze - 03 04 12 - 00:59

Thanks people, if Avery does take up the idea I hope he cross checks with an MD5 as most duplicate finders do.

Mclane - 03 04 12 - 01:33

Still going through and conforming Sergei's MEGA-DISTRO (!!!) from the other week, I have come across several cartridge images which apparently require the 'blizzard turbo hardware modification' or some such. Quite bizarrely this thing seems to have been fitted inside your tape recorder of all things! Given Avery's stance on cassettes I doubt it, but does anyone know if Altirra supports this hardware add-on? If so it sounds quite interesting in a clunky sort of way!

morelenmir - 03 04 12 - 02:46

Phaeron> I have some ideas about possibly distinguishing OSS 034M and OSS 043M, but it will probably take a tracing analyzer.

In all OSS cartridges save for The Writer's Tool, the byte at $AFFF contains current bank number - it can be used to distinguish the mappings.

morelenmir> It does only come as a CSV file though and I do not know how useful that would be. I had to carry out some unicode text-conversion jiggery pokery just to get it properly legible in Excel.

Huh? CSV is directly-openable in Excel, and you also can use OpenOffice to open the ODS file, which is also included.

Krótki - 03 04 12 - 06:23

Sure thing Krotki! You can certaily open them. Sadly though as a CSV file Excel will not display unicode characters - quite a problem with the heavy eastern european interest in the Atari! All you get are weird fraction symbols and such like.

morelenmir - 03 04 12 - 09:13

Avery, I found a very interesting bug.
there is a utility "creaxin" - creates a mapper that use cartridges "Switchable XEGS 128 KB cartridge".
additional information can be found here:
If I try to run a these cartridge on altirra - emulator stops (hangs).
emulators atari 800win 2.2.1 and atari 800winplus 4.1 runs perfectly, such cartridges.
watch the video:

breaker - 06 04 12 - 03:24

for example, two cartridges I created using the utility "creaxin".

breaker - 06 04 12 - 03:53

Fixes regressions in the R: device, fixes some problems with Option being held too long, and fixes the Switchable XEGS mappings:

> The SQL Server runtime is not huge, or the installation process could set up a windows native odbc connection.

You're absolutely insane if you think I would ever consider using SQL Server in Altirra. :)

A database isn't out of the question, but I don't want it to be the main mechanism just yet -- far too many carts floating around, not to mention the ability to create new ones.

Phaeron - 07 04 12 - 09:01

Thanks for updating, Avery!
This build very much has pleased me.
At last have correctly earned cartridges "destiny the cruiser and K-razy shoot out".
And Debugger turns to the present masterpiece.
Many thanks to you for that that do not throw and continue to improve this project.

but still some bugs:

mistake number 1.
If the emulator to enable the option "BASIC (boot without option key)", to work a bit in BASIC, and then switch the machine mode in 1200XL, OS-A or OS-B, we can see from above (in the service line emulator) inscription BASIC, although the BASIC on these machines is prohibited.

Error number 2.
Avery, please do something with my problem.
the fact that my computer is running two different languages​​.
and if for some reason I run the emulator when using another language to me that it is impossible to print anything in altirra.

is it possible to do so pressing a button to be processed in any case, even if I use a different language?

Please watch the video, it can be seen in the second part that I can not print in the emulator when you select another language.

breaker - 07 04 12 - 17:20

We are all glad you like the database idea, hope you bring it in sooner rather than later , I understand your trepidation re the number of carts and the ability to have the market flooded with self made ones but at least if the cart isn't referenced on the DB you can just bring up the normally cart select menu.

As for the DB, I'm sure it will get regular updates in the future as it does already.

As always, thanks for the release.


Mclane - 07 04 12 - 20:49

Well and it is fine, I not strongly was upset, have not made date base now - we will make later when time will come.
The main thing that the emulator develops and ahead will be more many interesting.

Paul, I would like to ask.
you do not accidentally preserved old beta emulator altirra?
I'm interested in beta from 1.1 to 1.5 version.

breaker - 08 04 12 - 02:17

I'll post the other links asap

Mclane - 08 04 12 - 03:29

Mclane - 08 04 12 - 03:33

These are stable versions, it to me are not necessary.
Tests, беты (pre releases) are necessary to me.
I thought can at someone they have remained, Avery what for has removed them.

breaker - 08 04 12 - 03:42

I'll have a look

Mclane - 08 04 12 - 04:15

Mclane - 08 04 12 - 04:18

Sorry looks like all the pre links are dead...

I never kept them myself...

Mclane - 08 04 12 - 04:31

You're not a fan of SQL then, eh Avery!!!

The spreadsheet from AtariMania really is excellent for Cartridges! It is not the hardest thing in the world, if a little time-consuming to simply go through your collection using it and make note of the appropriate mapping.

One thing I am a little confused by is how to use right-slot cartridges in Altirra?

morelenmir - 08 04 12 - 09:48

morelenmir, right slot cartridge it was used only on atari 800 systems.
You should choose Hardware--> 800, Firmware--> 800 (OS-A) or 800 (OS-B).
Still it is necessary to consider that cartridges for the right slot were auxiliary programs, than independent programs.

watch the video:

breaker - 08 04 12 - 15:58

Maybe something could be done with cartridges and zip/rar files. One scenario could be rar'ing up a known cartridge image. Also in the same archive could be an xml - or even straight text - file which describes the mapping and size and crc and so on in a standardized form that Altira can read. Maybe a separate descriptor file is not necessary - perhaps Altira could read the RAR description property. Perhaps, to get REALLY fancy an archive wrapper is not necessary and the cartridge description could be stored on a resource fork/NTFS alternate stream attached to the cartridge image file?

Something along those lines is possible I would think?

morelenmir - 10 04 12 - 02:28

More thoughts on this... Altira itself doesn't even HAVE to read the cartridge properties and automate the mapping selection process . So long as there were something like a 'preview' window in the 'Attach Cartridge' dialog - something like word or excel can do on opening a document - the stored details could be displayed and the user then selects the appropriate mapping type himself. Obviously this approach would work with any chosen method of storing the cartridge properties separate from the BIN/ROM image file itself, XML, text, archive properties or alternate data stream. I do myself favor the latter as alternate streams are a hugely neglected part of NTFS, yet one of the potentially most useful.

morelenmir - 10 04 12 - 03:20

Possible REGRESSION bug: Interlace-mode not working...

Just checked 480i and another "interlaced" game re-work, and they no longer show full vertical resolution, as expected, from "480i" fields. I turned on/off all other features (e.g. frame-blending, scan lines, etc.), also enabled/disabled interpolation filters, etc., but can't get it work.

Don't know if this has been discussed or mentioned, or intentionally deferred in time, but it seems present since R2.1-T20, at least.

Faicuai - 12 04 12 - 01:13

Fix for the interlace regression, support for command continuation in the debugger, and upgrades to the H: device:

The solution for cartridge mapping in most cases is to save them as .car. There's a problem with mappers that don't have a .car file equivalent, but the solution to that would be to get them added to Atari800.

Phaeron - 12 04 12 - 17:40

Thanks for updating, Avery!.
But the error with display a BASIC in an service line of the emulator not corrected.

breaker - 12 04 12 - 18:12

Avery what you think about adding emulations a new devices in your emulator?
for example, the emulator atari 800win 2.2.1 already has device emulation "XEP80" and "Austin Franklin 80".
Here's a screenshot:

in altirra no support for such devices.
I would be very grateful to you for adding support for such devices.

information and various files relating to the devices "XEP80" and "Austin Franklin 80" can be downloaded here:

breaker - 12 04 12 - 18:44

avanze, check your emails and your door mat for the disk...I'm hoping its there today or sat at the latest. All down to the posty now :)

Also see the email for why its packed etc.

Mclane - 12 04 12 - 21:27

I don't necessarily agree about *.CAR being the way forward. For the most part if you want a perfect image of a game (other than the comparatively small number of VAPI releases) then you have to go to cartridges and cross-reference them to a known database of CRC32's. Adding a *.car wrapper will invalidate the cartridge image checksum and again we will be unable to verify that cartridge is original.

A question regarding the new H: device handler - does it automatically swap EOL characters in PC formatted text files for the atari versions? This is currently the case with A8W+.

morelenmir - 14 04 12 - 06:55

It's pretty easy to CRC only the data in the .CAR image and not the header -- just skip the first 16 bytes. There is also already a checksum in the header, although I think it's a plain sum and not a CRC.

Altirra follows the same convention as A8W+/A8: H1-H4: read and write raw data, while H6-H9: do EOL translation on the same paths. H5: is not supported. Either LF or CR/LF files can read through H6-H9:, but they are always written back out as CR/LF.

Phaeron - 14 04 12 - 19:21

That is very good to know Avery. I think that is new behavior?

morelenmir - 15 04 12 - 02:05

I have a query, since Altirra is THE atari emulator that emulates hardware that no other emu has, is it posible to attempt to emulate the AMY sound chip? It was supposed to run on a derivative of the 65xe, but I suppose it would be hardware compatible with the 130xe. I know this sounds rather ambitious, but "if you built it, they will come", meaning that some of the people collecting the few prototypes might come forward for tests or using software to read the internal rom (or if need be, attempting decaping, I mean, this is atari history). Thanks for reading.

mangamuscle - 15 04 12 - 16:37

Yes, I just added the CR/LF translation.

The last time I looked into it, there wasn't enough information to go forward with AMY emulation. We know how the chip works and the register map, but not where it would have been in the Atari address space or at what clock rate it would have run. The software packages that I were able to find were to drive the AMY from x86 assembly, not 6502 assembly. In the absence of this information trying to emulate AMY would be pretty useless, I'm afraid.

Phaeron - 15 04 12 - 18:25

Avery, if you need this help.
in this archive, I gathered all I could find on the 65XEM.

breaker - 15 04 12 - 18:45

Just been asked an interesting question, does the Bounty Bob Strikes back XEGS rom actually work on Altirra?

I thought it did but I'm getting like the person who asked a black screen?

Mclane - 15 04 12 - 22:14

Paul, Bounty Bob Strikes back works fine on the beta 24.
see this video:

breaker - 16 04 12 - 02:02

"but not where it would have been in the Atari address space or at what clock rate it would have run." I think then it is just a matter of contacting someone with one of the working prototypes to run some test software, there should be at least one registered at atariage (or someone that know how to contact said collector).

mangamuscle - 16 04 12 - 02:12

Sergey you missed the xegs part of my post, there's an xegs rom that I think I got from you which will not load into altirra in any mode let alone xegs.

Could you try it on yours, I thought I'd seen it working but I could be wrong, maybe Avery could have a look at it if not?

I'll post the rom if needed, I actually went to post it on medifire but its gone all sign up and special uploading software?

Mclane - 16 04 12 - 02:49

Here's said rom..

Mclane - 16 04 12 - 02:54

I'm not sure but I think that this is a bad dump of the game.
when I try to run it on altirra, the emulator switches into memory testing.
Interestingly, the emulator shows the damaged memory.
I think you better put this dump in the forum topic:
or send this dump Kr0tki.
or, perhaps, but it is unlikely that this dump of the game requires a new type of mappera.
See this video:

breaker - 16 04 12 - 04:33

*uck !
This dump is working on atari 800win 2.2.1 and atari 800winplus 4.1.
it seems that short of another mappera.
or mapper 128 XEGS not working properly.

breaker - 16 04 12 - 04:41

Oh well...At least we know it CAN work...

Avery :)

Mclane - 16 04 12 - 04:46

A technical related question; what's the difference between the 40k and 128k version?

avanze - 16 04 12 - 07:14



Mclane - 16 04 12 - 20:08

Seriously, most likely nothing, I'd expect its just the size of the chip used although the original 64K was bank selected, I presume 2 32K banks in that case..

Mclane - 16 04 12 - 20:10

I have the 40k 'Bounty Bob 800' mapped version - which does work 0 and I THOUGHT I had the XEGS one as well. Could you upload it Paul?

morelenmir - 17 04 12 - 04:20

Oh dear... And now I see you have already uploaded it Paul. My apologies AND my thanks!

morelenmir - 17 04 12 - 04:25

And my reply!

A quick test has shown this will not boot in 130xe mode or xegs with 130mb or 64mb enabled. In fact it wont run with ANY of the available 128k mappings, even the unlikely ones such as sdx or SIC!.

This is something for Avery to take a look at I think.

And regards the AMY - I am all for new hardware to play with, although my own interests are fixed on the unlikely to be seen indus/happy emulation. It would be nice to see the AMY running nonetheless.

morelenmir - 17 04 12 - 04:33

I have been doing some reading on the 65XEM, which apparently was the only finished hardware to hold the AMY? It was shown at a computer fair in early January 1985 but never produced commercially because of the push to sell the ST. Is it possible there is anyone friendly to the emulation cause who has one of the prototype machines?

morelenmir - 18 04 12 - 03:37

morelenmir, see these topics on the forum:

breaker - 18 04 12 - 04:46

Interestingly, the second theme, there are examples sound chip "amy".
there are four drive programs and for 65XEM.

Avery I believe in you :)

breaker - 18 04 12 - 04:52

With no real chip data I wish him the best of luck but as we know, Avery performs miracles :)

Mclane - 18 04 12 - 05:10

It makes one wonder if Avery might not be persuaded to add 'GAZA' support into Altirra...!!!!?!?!?

Humour aside - I wonder what that machine would have been like? From the description it sound like it might have rivaled the Amiga, except in 1983... It makes you think!

morelenmir - 18 04 12 - 09:36

in April, will still be beta releases an emulator?

breaker - 23 04 12 - 19:51

We all knew the quieter times were coming, I can just imagine Avery is either really busy or maybe adding possibly more specialised items??

Who knows.....I'm looking forward to whatever comes

Mclane - 24 04 12 - 20:52

...There's always room for improvement... but, by now, Altirra is probably (byte-for-byte, "gram-by-gram") the finest A8bit emulation solution, available today.

Give it a rest, as it is all gravy from here (especially after all the work and *pride* that has been put into it). Enjoy! :-)

Faicuai - 08 05 12 - 17:37

I think most people like me who have followed Altirra since its first 'proof of concept' are just hoping Avery will pop in and say hello, I doubt anyone is expecting anything big and wonderful. Any way Avery is too busy rendering 8 bit pictures at the moment :)

Mclane - 09 05 12 - 03:15

Wondered if I could ask for anyone's feedback/any pointers for an Altirra-relevant project I'm contemplating (among so many things I don't have enough time to do).

Around 20 years ago, when I was (very) young, I built a speech synthesizer from notes in an old magazine, (Atari User June '87 I think - but the same design was in a few other mags) - based around a SPO256AL2 chip. It was controlled through both joystick ports, with a bit of assembler to react to the signals quickly enough. I recently found someone has pulled WAVS/MP3s from the speech chip, so I thought it might be easy/slightly fun to write a kind of emulator that behaved like my old kit. So then I wondered if it's possible to write an external application that could interface with Altirra's joystick ports? (I'm not suggesting this should be a new feature added to Altirra at all...!)

Thanks for any thoughts on it,

Wesmond - 10 05 12 - 00:22

LOL...I think I'm in that version of Atari User in the reviews section :)

Yes the SPO256 was used in many kits including one that we (Maplin Electronics built), the sdesign was pretty much the same on all the kits. As for making something, sadly I'm not the electronics guy (despite the company),someone like Candle on AtariAge would be a a brilliant person to ask as he's the kit maker supreme on there.

Mclane - 10 05 12 - 02:13

Hi Mclane! To clarify - I don't want to build the hardware - done that! As I've got the WAVs, I was wondering if it's possible to write a Windows application that emulates the whole SPO256 gadget (using the WAVs you can download), and talks to Altirra's joystick ports in the same way the gadget talked to a real Atari.

Wesmond - 10 05 12 - 06:17

Avery is your man then, good luck on that, sounds a nice idea..

Mclane - 10 05 12 - 21:14

I hope Avery yet have not thrown this project under name Altirra.
Has passed already whole month from an exit of last beta.

breaker - 10 05 12 - 21:19

I hope not as well, I think he's just having a break and a bit of fun, he's enjoying rendering pictures with that program he recoded. I'm sure he will pop in and say hello...

Mclane - 10 05 12 - 23:00

While there are no new releases of the emulator, I have found to myself other entertainment.
I play one magnificent game, to mine it is the best game in the world.
Paul, and all fans 8 bit remakes, very much I advise game "Bit Trip Runner".
Fantastic gameability, the most surprising, bewitching music and infernal complexity!
I strongly advise to try it.

breaker - 10 05 12 - 23:48

Yes I played that on XBLA, very nice....

I've been playing with PSX emulation again, back playing Castlevania Shadow of the night...

Brill game...

Mclane - 11 05 12 - 04:51

I myself have been looking at both real hardware and emulated acorn A5000/A4000's - I have three of the former and one of the later in nuts and bolts form. RISCOS really did have some amazingly good aspects to its Filer which even now Windows 7 (and of course the mobile telephone bad-joke of 'Metrosexual') do not improve on. I need four new CMOS batteries which (in a rather incredulously LESS user-friendly move) are physically soldered onto the motherboard!!! The work to remove them is trivial of course, but tedious in that the entire MB has to be extricated - which in turn requires everything except the power unit to be removed first!!!

morelenmir - 11 05 12 - 17:10

That will keep you busy until the next Altirra :)

I liked the Arch's, never actually owned one but seemed more fun than I initially thought when playing with the emulated ones.

Mclane - 11 05 12 - 18:41

The RISCOS GUI up to v4.39 was extremely well designed. It was truly object oriented and light-years ahead of the apple-mac, even OSX and whatever the newest one is. For instance, to install an application most often you just copied over a single file - actually a special folder with various auto-run batch files inside, but transparent to the user. It was also so amazingly fast and tightly responsive because the majority of the OS was held in ROM. There is a trickle of ongoing development for the system, but new releases are 'softloaded' from the hard drive, installed from CD so a good chunk of RISCOS's utility has been lost. I believe you can bodge together some sort of setup with EEPROM's and a good deal of micro-soldering, but I imagine it would be a pain without a hot-air rework station. There is also a small but very vocal and sadly quite vociferously militant surviving user base. We A8 fans are a MUCH nicer bunch!!!

Nonetheless I would say anyone who would like to experience how a GUI should be implemented to give the 'Red Squirrel' A5000 emulator a go. If you have just won the lottery I would even say you should give 'Virtual RiscPC Adjust-SA' a try. Aside from the mind-boggling, awesomely, ridiculously expensive price of ~120 (!!!???!?!?!?) it is very well put together and you can quite genuinely run it as your main environment on top of windows - with even a moderately modern processor it will run faster than the actual RPC ever did!

Real hardware is nice though!

morelenmir - 12 05 12 - 02:53

You certainly know your hardware and a little surprise for you re Virtual RiscPC Adjust-SA,now 79.00 :)

Still bloody expensive and way way way out of my league :)

Mclane - 12 05 12 - 20:04

Atirra's cheater has one bug. If I set cheat value to any value less than 256 or $100, it always write 8 bit only, no matter I select 8 bit or 16 bit mode.

I suggest more features should be added below:

Search box in cheat dialog box should support hexacimal values and multiple hexacimal values in addition to decimal values and should search by 8 bit, 16 bit, 32 bit, reverse 16 bit and reverse 32 bit.

I like to add reverse 16 bit, 32 bit and reverse 32 bit to cheat value, not just 8 bit and 16 bit.

Daniel - 13 05 12 - 16:49

Daniel, I hope you do not mind but I have copied your report to the AtariAge forum where Avery spends time also, with him being a busy guy I thought it might catch his eye either way.

Here's a link to the thread for you and anyone interested, obviously its credited to you as the finder.

Mclane - 13 05 12 - 22:32

Folks, I have the enthusiasm to go program hunting so to top up my collection and spot any bits I may have missed. Does anyone have a good list of sites with collections of 8bit Atari on, I most likely have what is out there but it does not hurt to search a bit deeper.

I always take down the monthly updates from but I can't be doing with the 5 million clicks to get all from Atarimania (Atarifrog, go on, let me get a ftp dump please!!).

So has anyone got any other links apart from the Holmes collection which I added stuff to along with Aarons excellent work.

Cheers......From a miserable cold and damp West London...

Mclane - 13 05 12 - 22:38

At me for a long time already it is impossible to find new errors in altirra, not because errors are not present, that is why that the emulator became very exact.
Thanks Daniel.
I hope now Avery will turn the look on us.


Paul, I could not remember any FTP sites for the atari.
but I can give links to other sites with atari large collections of games and programs.

breaker - 13 05 12 - 22:50

Oops Daniel, I thought I'd put the link to the Atariage thread..

Mclane - 14 05 12 - 00:56

Thanks breaker, sadly all milked dry :)

Mclane - 14 05 12 - 01:57

I also found out today, one small mistake.
for some reason you can not run bas files on 1200XL machine.
I tried to run bas files on 800 (OS-A and OS-B) and XEGS - works fine.
but on the 1200XL does not run.
bas tried to run the files through the menu:
File ---> Boot image.

breaker - 14 05 12 - 03:38

The only way I can get some bas files to work is to boot up as 1200, attach a special cart basic and then go to Open image in the file menu rather than boot image and load the file BUT there's a bug here, it only allows atari original file length and no spaces of special characters in the file name..

Does work that way...

Mclane - 14 05 12 - 08:38

When I said boot and load the file I meant just open the image, it boots after that automatically..

As long as its atari file length and no spaces in name etc..

Mclane - 14 05 12 - 08:54

I came across this FTP place a bit ago paul, I don't know if they have any games per se - but it might be worth having a quick scan through:

79 is a bit more reasonable for VRPC, but still... That much? For a SOFTWARE emulator??? I might consider putting it on the birthday/Christmas list if it was maybe a hardware StrongARM processor with Adjust OS ROM's on a PCIE expansion board. But that is just silly money for an obsolete software emulator that hasn't had an update in close to 3 years! I would like a copy and if it were 10-15 I might even be convinced to pay for it IF you got lifetime updates. 79 pounds though... Sheesh!!!

There hasn't even been any genuine application work since the beginning of the 2000's. the Select thing churns out the odd update to the OS itself now and then, but as i mentioned it is all softloaded now, not on ROM - which completely defeats the purpose in my opinion as the speed and responsiveness of the old ROM architecture was a major highlight. Moreover the majority of LEGAL software I have paid for won't run on anything later than 4.39 and there are no patches to rectify the problem. Moreover its strange and I don't want to start any fights with fellow RISCOS fans, but that whole community is really... Argumentative to put it mildly! Even the mention of Abandoneware, or pooling what software users still have to keep the platform alive results in pretty much instant black-balling.

All that said I still have a great deal of fondness for the old machines and I have got my name down, to get in to the queue at RS to put my name down for a Raspberry Pi!!!

morelenmir - 14 05 12 - 10:55

While I am waiting for administrator's email for permission to post on Atariage forums as I am registered as new user. I accepted McLane's request to post my original bug report.

I updated bug report about Atirra cheat. 16 bit cheat did not work properly, no matter what value I have set. 16 bit cheat always use only least significant 8 bit data. I verified with BASIC POKE and PEEK commands. I will post on Atariage forum as soon as I receive a permission to post.

Daniel - 14 05 12 - 15:17

Sorry guys, I have been neglecting you for a while, along with a lot of other things... the image stuff was a burst of curiosity but I'm mostly over that now. :)

Not much new on the emu front, although I do have a fix in progress for some sprite issues that I need to do some more local testing on. Hopefully I can get a build out soon. I also have some other random crap like a half working BASIC interpreter, but that's not very useful without working arrays or strings.

Phaeron - 14 05 12 - 19:07

Thanks for popping in Avery, hopefully you can make the 1200 bas loading a bit easier and remove the file name restrictions as per Breakers and my update. As a cheating sod I hope Daniels report can be addressed as well :)

Can I just say for all of us that we are happy bits are still ongoing, there was a little thought for a bit you may have thrown the towel in which no one would blame as the emulator is in wonderful shape but we hope you keep giving it your love and upkeep for a while yet :)

Mclane - 14 05 12 - 19:49

No problem at all avery! Its cool just to hear from you. I am sure I am not alone in being perfectly happy if you release a minor fix every couple or three months or whatever - just so long as we know you haven't junked it in completely! Altirra now works pretty much perfectly and most of the future direction is probably in doing your usual amazing job at emulating peripherals or putting that polish here and there.

I have lots of ideas for things you might add in the future which range from minor alterations to current systems - such as a slightly more in-depth blank disk image creation tool that offers higher densities and multiple sides to tally with the SpartaDOS or MyDOS format options - to entire new devices like maybe one of the many 80 column display addons or other add-in boards. However PLEASE do not think for a moment that in making these suggestions I or any of the other regulars here are in any way thankless for what you have already done.

Altirra is simply the most perfect emulator of any device on the PC. I do not think it is hyperbole to say that. 'Spectaculator', 'VirtualRiscPC', 'NEStopia' and the rest are all left WAY in your dust!!!

morelenmir - 14 05 12 - 20:14

"Altirra is simply the most perfect emulator of any device on the PC. I do not think it is hyperbole to say that. 'Spectaculator', 'VirtualRiscPC', 'NEStopia' and the rest are all left WAY in your dust!!!"

Steady on man, this will go to his head and we may never see him again :)

Both myself and Avery have a very soft spot for Toni Wilen's Winuae while I like Bsnes although I don't agree totally on the way Byuu is taking it with these odd folder configs BUT like Altirra these are free works of art and we all are bloody grateful to have them!

As for Nestopia, I still keep up with the open version but I've seen lots of remarks about it not being a patch on it before it became open source.

As with life, we can't win them all....

Mclane - 20 05 12 - 23:59

A couple of years ago I had an odd epihany while playing I think "super mario brothers 3" on Nestopia along with "Mass Effect 2". It struck me that here I was, playing a game that once was the absolute pinnacle of 'computer games' in its day but inside a floating window on my desktop. Along side was ME2, which in some ways had photorealistic graphics - mind blowing 23 years ago. This in a window as WELL as a session of Oolite, coexisting happily also, side by side. I was also browsing the web and writing emails when they came in... It was just a very... Strange moment to think of the impact that would have had on me in 1989. I would think I had been abducted by aliens! Or maybe dreaming, certainly dreaming and worrying about waking up.

Altirra is much the same. At this stage we totally have an Atari 800XL 100% on our desktop - and even though it doesn't perhaps give absolutely all the various peripherals that were available, in my own case who never had a 'Happy' Drive or 80 column display card it completely replicates my old equipment. I again think of what my uncle would have thought, who was the only person in my family who had any interest in computers. A 'model computer' floating on the desktop, playing all the games and more than his local Atari users club ever cracked... I think he too would have felt like a 'stranger in a strange land'.

The main theme of Arthur C. Clarke's last 'odyssey' story was the reanimation of Frank Poole, the astronaut who HAL murdered by chopping off his life-line around the orbit of Jupiter (or Saturn in the actual story). His frozen corpse is found a thousand years later and he is brought back to life. The story goes on to relate his mind boggling encounter with Human technology a millennium more advanced than when he 'died'.

I sometimes feel a little bit like that when I look around at the modern day. We truly live in amazing times and I think we all forget that most often. Altirra is part of that.

morelenmir - 21 05 12 - 20:52

I share your passion for Altirra, I was pointed to it many many years ago when it was Avery's proof of concept demo you might say. It was very rough around the edges and was a million miles short of Atari800win Plus but it had something that I liked, I made sure I followed it. It was the only other emulator for the 8bit I followed apart from Win Plus which I was a beta tester at the time, I'd seen Atari++ but I HATED the interface, SDL in this case was some ugly BEEP and although the author had been the first to give Master of the lamps the full colour gongs I still could not bare using it.

I like many had written to Avery to beg him to keep going and make it into a full blown emulator which he did to the great pleasure of all of us but the one simple little thing that I feel in love with about Altirra was that it make the SIO beeps for the drive, it actually sounded like the old machine did, it was a magical noise, it brought back my many visits to Silica Shop in Sidcup, Kent, a place that on a Saturday was packed to the rafters with fellow Atarians and the cacophony of noise was both thrilling and fun. In there you heard Galaxian, Miner 2049'er, Preppie and others all mingling together along with the joyous beeps of the disk drive. This for me was home computing at its finest, when it was raw and new, home computers who could have thought at the time.

Altirra brought all that back in a split second just by that oh so simple beep beep....

History shows that Avery carried on the good fight to what Altirra is today, not an emulator but an experience, a window back to the past and more importantly a perfect thing....

Keep going Avery, you have perfection or as close to it as we could hope for, lets have some sprinkles of your stardust on top...

Mclane - 21 05 12 - 22:27

Alright, sorry for being away, but I do have a small update:

- Now includes the 64-bit build. There really isn't much point to this since the 32-bit build is faster, but someone asked for it and I'd had it building for a while anyway.
- Fix for the 16-bit cheat issue.
- Fixes for some sprite issues, including the one that masked the glitch in the diarrho Quantizator picture. Sprite overlap is now supported. Unfortunately these fixes do slow things down a little bit.
- BASIC is no longer shown on the caption bar for machines that don't support built-in BASIC.
- Fixed a mode switch related display crash on XP machines.
- Several updates to the debugger.
- Fixed long filename mangling issue in H: device (it was needlessly mangling some filenames between 6-8 chars).

Phaeron - 26 05 12 - 14:23


As always appreciated..

Mclane - 26 05 12 - 19:28


I'm not sure if this is a bug or not but I see some screen corruption on the game Ballblazer when I load Altirra on Windows 7 64 bit using either the 32 or 64 bit builds. Windows XP 32 bit is fine however. Can anyone confirm? There are brown blocks to the left of the playfield which shouldn't be there. I tested a few other games and they seem to be unaffected.

Oh and thanks for all the great work on Altirra, it's a truly wonderful emulator.


SFan - 26 05 12 - 22:17

Go to view and Overscan and set it to nomal

Mclane - 26 05 12 - 22:50

Sorry, should have gave a en explanation, you are seeing beyond the normal screen viewable area which the TV / monitor masks off, sometimes it looks ok and other times depending on what is being done it will look horrible :)

Most programmers don't draw beyond the viewable area since its precious time wasted.

Mclane - 26 05 12 - 22:53

Many thanks Avery!

morelenmir - 27 05 12 - 04:00

Thanks Mclane, that did the trick!!

SFan - 27 05 12 - 07:34

My pleasure, that's what we love to do in here...

Mclane - 27 05 12 - 21:42

I Can't get the following game to work in Altirra

Sparky - 28 05 12 - 00:36

Or this one

Sparky - 28 05 12 - 00:38

Probe one - Transmitter needs to be in OSB and Basic enabled.

To set this go to the System heading on the tool bar and under Hardware choose 800, then in the same system menu go to Firmware and pick OSB. To Enable Basic under beta 25 and few versions before you go to the File heading on the tool bar and Attach Special Cartridge and choose BASIC.

If there are any issues here it may be that you do not have the needed system roms, if this is the case then reply back saying so...

The game works fine..

Now testing the other game but the image may be broken or not compatible..If there's a different version of the game that works I'll post a link to it..

Mclane - 28 05 12 - 00:55

Here's a link to an Atr of the Colossal adventure that works fine, that cas image might be corrupt or non compatible with Altirra..

Mclane - 28 05 12 - 01:05

Boot under OSB again but without BASIC...

Mclane - 28 05 12 - 01:08


Sparky has highlighted a bug or compatibility issue with the game Jewels of Darkness - Colossal Adventure as a CAS file from

Works fine under Atari800win but on Altirra you get a message saying "Cannot read 5 bytes at Location 00007cc0 from Jewels of Darkness - Colossal adventure.cas"

I doubt that's a random message but a known cas image flaw?

Mclane - 28 05 12 - 01:13

Thanks for update? Avery !

Sparky, the game "Probe One - The Transmitter" - works fine.
See the video:

breaker - 28 05 12 - 01:14


The needed system roms just in case, put in the root directory with Altirra..

Mclane - 28 05 12 - 01:17

Bit slow Sergey ;)

Mclane - 28 05 12 - 01:18

With altirra 2.10 test 25
When playing gateway to apshai.atr lower info screen is garbage character(when pressing select or option key).
Ok with atariwin plus 4.1

asgog - 29 05 12 - 17:49

Confirmed...Tried multiple configs..
Looks like its showing an extra line of a display list by accident?

That's just a wild guess but its showing memory as far as I can see..

Mclane - 29 05 12 - 20:10

this is a mistake or maybe the game works just the same as in the real atari?

breaker - 29 05 12 - 20:25

Not tried it on my real machine as the PSU is dead...

Did try on A800 and win plus which both showed no screen corruption.

Mclane - 29 05 12 - 21:26

Now confirmed that the images work on a real machine, got my XL going and there no corruption on the screen..

Mclane - 29 05 12 - 21:58

thanks for info, Paul.

breaker - 30 05 12 - 00:16

I would just like quickly raise an issue I have mentioned in the past. I won't hark on it nor repeat it again, but it would be VERY useful indeed if there were some way to clear the printer output windows without having to close it and open it again. Perhaps something as simple as allowing the 'Alt+8' shortcut to act as a toggle so it would be relatively quick to off/on from the keyboard.

This would make a big difference when programming inside Altirra.

morelenmir - 30 05 12 - 07:20

Transplanted the request into the Altirra 2.00 thread on AA so Avery has the best chance to see it in both places.

Mclane - 30 05 12 - 19:05

Argh, transplanted is the totally wrong word :)

Mclane - 30 05 12 - 19:06

Organlegging NEVER pays paul!!!

morelenmir - 31 05 12 - 04:34

I needed the money!

Mclane - 31 05 12 - 18:57

Version with fix for the DMACTL problem that affected Gateway to Apshai:

I'll take a look at what's going on with the Colossal Cave tape... after I get more batteries for my lamp and fend off some pesky dwarves....

Phaeron - 03 06 12 - 12:21

each time atari emulation is getting better.
Thanks for another update, Avery.

breaker - 03 06 12 - 15:16

Thanks Avery, plaease have a look at the Atari Aage Altirra 2 thread for some other bug reports and suggestions.

Mclane - 03 06 12 - 21:17

Much Thanks
For Fixing gateway to apshai bug.

Altirra is my favorite atari 8 bit emulator.

asgog - 04 06 12 - 20:51

Looking forward to testing this out Avery!

I think it says something that through Altirra I am able to properly learn and use ASM. In contrast I have found MANY failures within vmWare which make it very hard to learn to programme assembler using a virtualized DOS machine.

morelenmir - 05 06 12 - 16:24

16 bit cheat bug had been fixed with Altirra V2.10-test26! I tested with BASIC POKE and PEEK commands! Great work!

I like to add 16 bit reverse, 32 bit and 32 bit reverse cheats. Search box should accept both decimal and hexcimal.

Daniel - 07 06 12 - 19:59

Averys little side project just published on Atari Age.

His words next...

Midnight Magic on the Atari 2600 was one of my favorite pinball games when I was growing up, and on a whim I decided to give a shot at porting it to the 800. The results are attached. I've tried to match the original version as exactly as possible. Notes:

Most of the code from the original 16K cart is in this version, including all of the physics code. I've relocated it from $9/B/D/F000 to $4000-7FFF. Thankfully, the original programmer used different addresses for the banks, which made it much easier to disassemble. What was a pain was correcting all of the false labels caused by offset indexing (LDA table-10,X) and tracking down the code that was doing LSB address comparisons and broke when the tables were moved.
On the 2600, the screen is generated almost entirely using the players, with a few tiny bits done using the playfield and the missiles. The ball, well, is used for the ball. The amount of HMOVE and player repeating in the ~3K display kernel was insane and so I chucked the whole thing and rewrote a new display kernel on top of a mode E playfield, thus the bloating to 20K. It could probably be squished back into 16K for a 400 or 5200, but I was too lazy. Priority between the ball and the rollovers/unders are probably wrong in a few places since I completely redid the sprite usage.
The game does not use sprite collisions, which made porting easier. All collisions are done algorithmically using an RLE collision map and a series of per-object collision routines, which take up most of the cartridge. The game runs four physics ticks per VBLANK.
The audio is matched as closely as I could, with 1.79MHz 16-bit paired timers to hit the right frequencies. One notable difference is that the drop and catch targets don't quite produce the right sound -- this is because POKEY can't quite emulate the 5-bit div 3 mode. Most of the rest of the sounds just use pure tone, which was easy to map.
Game Reset and Game Select have been mapped to Start and Select, and Option flips both the difficulty switches. The BW/Color switch is hardwired to Color; in the original game setting this to B&W causes the second player to run on autopilot, which I thought was useless (and took a while to track down).

Mclane - 07 06 12 - 23:13

I'm certainly not a great Pinball aficionados, but the toy looks very interesting and very similar to Varant with atari 2600.

brief comment:
in the archives of the game is a file playfield.bin - as I understand it is the image of the cartridge for the Atari 8-bit?
altirra 2.1 test 26 does not support such a cartridge, please feel free to add a new mapper.

breaker - 08 06 12 - 00:14

Its the playfield data, its an 'included' file that gets imported into the assembler when assembled with the source file that's also included in the archive.

ie its not a cart..Just data (most likely ripped from the original cart)

Mclane - 08 06 12 - 00:51

Thanks for the explanation, Paul.
and thank Avery for his excellent work.

breaker - 08 06 12 - 01:48

No problem, glad to help.

Mclane - 08 06 12 - 01:52

Hi guys, I think I've found a little GTIA palette error: the code below on an 800xl shows 2 shades of grey, plus the black background colour. In Altirra, the palette entry for color 1 seems the same as color 0, so I can only see the color 2 line. Thought it might be my eyes at first, but checked with a screen grab and Paintshop Pro! Using 2.10 test 26.

50 GOTO 50


wesmond - 10 06 12 - 19:08

Avery's little side line of porting 2600 games continues..

After my experience with 2600 Midnight Magic and the response I decided to try a whack at porting a simpler but motion oriented game, Seaquest. I don't intend to make a career out of porting 2600 games -- for sanity reasons, if nothing else -- but this was a fun little game I remember that was good for quick runs growing up, and I figured I'd try a game that was a bit more sprite heavy. Again, this is a close-as-possible port of the original 2600 game, based on the original binary code.

Porter's comments:

Midnight Magic was a 16K banked game, but Seaquest is just 4K. No banking to rip out. This time the porting cost was +0.5KB.
Joystick 1/2 for controls, Start for Game Reset, Select for Game Select (1 or 2 players), Option flips both left and right difficulty. B&W/Color hardwired to Color. Default is easy difficulty, switching to hard slows down the shots.

Like many 2600 games, this was made for NTSC and it will play slower and with a bit funny colors on PAL. Sorry, but the game doesn't have fraction tables and PAL GTIA colors are significantly different, and I'm porting these games as-is. Adaptation is an exercise left for the reader.
Decoding sprite positioning from a 2600 display kernel... sucks.

I had to duplicate some data to emulate player reflection.
As I expected, repeating sprites would be a pain. Seaquest displays up to five 8-bit player sprites on a scanline plus a missile, so a straightforward mapping to GTIA sprites wasn't an option. Since only one of the players was repeated I reimplemented the enemies on top of the playfield. There's also quite a lot of interesting code in the game to deal with the case of you shooting out one of a group, by recomputing a new horizontal position and switching the NUSIZ1 pattern to match the remaining enemies, which took me a while to figure out (I couldn't figure out at first why the sharks were jumping when shot on some waves). If someone wants to try putting this in ROM, there was one location that I used self-modifying code (because I was lazy).

Dethreading the player sub and torpedo from the entire display kernel was annoying, but the huge pain in the butt was the divers. It turned out they were rendered using the ball, by moving and re-sizing it on every scanline. Once I figured this out I was able to rip out a ton of the display kernel and remap the divers to a regular GTIA player.

The entire display is shifted a bit left than I would have expected. I didn't notice this until I put in the sea bed and started comparing the position of everything. I've kept the existing positions, but one side effect is that you can spot sprites popping in on the right side. Based on the 40-bit playfield, I think this is correct and was intentional to prevent sprites from wrapping around HBLANK on the TIA, but I don't have a real 2600 to verify (the right part of the screen is cut off in Stella).
Unlike MM, Seaquest does use hardware sprite collisions. Fortunately, GTIA's collision capabilities are a superset of TIA's and this was easy to map.

The TIA 5-bit div 6 sound is a problem here again, this time more apparent as it affects the player shots. I've mapped it the same way, but it doesn't have the nice metallic sound. I thought about trying high speed IRQ emulation, but bands of background gradients made this difficult.

Mclane - 10 06 12 - 22:37


Just incase you have not seen this on AtariAge I'll post it here..

User Ivop posted this

Instead of emulating the sid sound, here's a teaser of my latest coding session. It's running the real .sid player routine, just like atarisid3, but it sounds like Pokey instead. I'm pretty pleased with the results :)

Works correctly in atari800, but there seems a bug in the gumby emulation of Altirra-2.0. 16-bit noise on AUDC3/4 on the second pokey doesn't seem to work. It keeps playing a pure tone. Or maybe I am doing something wrong, which is entirely possible :)

It runs of the NMI and doesn't use nearly as much CPU time as atarisid3.

Download file here

And here

Mclane - 11 06 12 - 20:19

Just thought I'd update the the above bug find for those that don't read AtariAge..(great site)

There was no bug in Altirra re the stereo pokey emulation, its all fine, the problem was with the software player needing proper initialisation, as always Altirra was spot on!

It did however point out a bug in the debugger so good stuff all round.

Mclane - 13 06 12 - 21:44

I also did not doubt that the error is not present.
I downloaded melodies and checked them on different emulators atari, a special difference have not noticed.
I hope Avery will rectify an error in emulation "antic H-Scroll" later and will let out the stable version.

breaker - 13 06 12 - 22:00

From the way Avery has talked about it and the fact he's not attempted it yet it must be a seriously hard thing to fix without breaking other stuff. I'm sure he will do it one day

Mclane - 13 06 12 - 22:52

Silence again, two weeks worth.
Avery, what happens?
You were bothered with work on the emulator?

breaker - 18 06 12 - 17:07

Bearing in mind that the last time things seemed quiet, Avery was just porting a couple of games from the 2600... I don't think we need to worry!

Wesmond - 18 06 12 - 21:25

Sorry, no big news, busy with other things (not A8 related). Also, the weather has been hot, which hasn't helped. In the meantime, here's a tiny update with a couple of debugger fixes:

Phaeron - 19 06 12 - 20:00

in any case - thanks for the update!

breaker - 19 06 12 - 20:24

As per always, appreciated...

You only get one go at life (well that's what most believe) so make the most of it Avery, just a little question, do you think the DMA fix will ever be fully possible and just how disruptive is it to games?

Are there many titles that are affected?

Mclane - 19 06 12 - 21:31

More than happy to receive any update avery! Thanks as always.

In the meantime I have been exploring (ho, ho, ho) alternates to explorer. So far Directory Opus is looking very good.

morelenmir - 20 06 12 - 00:01

Directory Opus is simply the BEST, the price is NOT.....

I've been using Opus since it was on the Amiga, me and a friend were Opus mad and we beta tested it for the good Doctor (thought I might get a freebie PC one if I reminded him but no...:( ). I used Opus as a front end for every thing on the Amiga and more so now, it was the best and most expensive bit of software I have EVER purchased which why I moan dearly at the price, its gone down but for the average user its still high.

That aside its in a spot of its own, I use it as a direct replacement for all explorer calls and its BRILLIANT, you can have both should you want but that defies the potential of it.

I run my PC from it, you name it I run it and any apps with CLI's get used to the fullest so its a mere two clicks to edit stuff, run roms, put files into Rename master etc etc etc. Just create another row of buttons or multi drop down menu's if you run out.

If you get stuck a message on the forum will get you tons of help especially from Leo Donaldson who is something of a mega expert on their. If you can afford it then do not bother with the others, they are nice but Opus simply tramples on them hands down.

Mclane - 20 06 12 - 05:34

And test 27 also fixed the GTIA palette problem I mentioned... Thanks! :-)

Wesmond - 20 06 12 - 08:54

>>Phaeron commentary:
Tape issue was because the load path didn't hit 'play' on the emulated tape deck... only cold reset did. Fixed.

The default colors should be OK for the self test -- it's pretty close to my NTSC 130XE, at least, including the green 40-column text. Remember that there can and will be variations in color between Ataris, although the presets in Altirra are designed to be reasonable.

I must confess that I can't really see the point of having 2K of extra RAM mapped to $5000-57FF, particularly with the abundance of full RAM expansions. If you could map RAM to $D000-D7FF, then yeah, you could do interesting new things with that. Just getting 2K more of RAM, not so much. I'm willing to be convinced otherwise, though.

breaker - 21 06 12 - 21:31

Sorry - got myself confused (again). About that GTIA Graphics 9 issue with COLORs 1 and 2 being the same... possibly nothing changed in test 27! But it seems color 1 isn't visible if you have "Frame blending" switched OFF, but it does display correctly if you have it switched on. I had different computers configured differently...

Wesmond - 23 06 12 - 08:01

Another one to take for a spin Avery! Many thanks as ever.

In the few days since trying it out I have become very impressed with DO also Paul. The price is ridiculous though. Nearly fifty pounds is too much. You probably can justify some of it with the amazing degree of customization it offers. If it were 10-15 I would almost certainly take the plunge. Still, a damn good piece of software all the same and it will be a wrench when the shareware evaluation period is up!

morelenmir - 23 06 12 - 13:52

Some quick changes for screenshot aspect ratio and an experimental new stretching mode, sharp bilinear:

Wesmond: It sounds like you might have an issue with dependent texture lookup accuracy in your graphics card. What graphics card do you have, and does disabling Direct3D9 support in Tools | Options | Display make a difference?

Phaeron - 23 06 12 - 20:15

as I was not looking at a new filter but the differences from the other filters are not noticed.
it would be better completed the scanlines mode.

breaker - 23 06 12 - 20:42

Excuse, difference at filters all the same is, but they very weak, hardly considerably approximately.

Avery, you can add in the emulator the filter "a phosphoric luminescence" as it is made in the emulator stella?

breaker - 23 06 12 - 21:38


"There's always the dark side..."

But do try and avoid it, Opus is very well protected, trust me..Letting it call home has fun but annoying effects hence I made the decision is haste to buy the thing :)

When you hit the thirty days you will be GUTTED....

My wish was that I was brighter so I could use half of what it has to offer, still I get so much use out of it I don't care :)

Mclane - 24 06 12 - 01:25

Like the new slightly sharper filter, yes its minimal in visual effect but for me it just finds the right middle ground for sharp but filtered as opposed to ultra sharp or a bit too blurry...

Scanlines on all modes would be nice but I understand the problem....Maybe one day..

Mclane - 24 06 12 - 02:03

Thanks for the reply about the GTIA colours Phaeron - YES, turning off the Direct3D9 option indeed fixes it (regardless of frame blending). The offending machine is my Lenovo Thinkpad R61i, which has an Intel 965 Express graphics chipset. Just tested it on my home desktop (with AGP Radeon HD5450), and I can't produce the problem in any way.

So... no need to fix on my account - unless you have any other reason for overcoming Intel chipset problems (in which case, I'm happy to help). I only spotted it as I'm trying to write my first full assembler game using those GTIA shades. Developing/Debugging with Altirra really is nice...!

Wesmond - 24 06 12 - 09:51

Grr... looks like Intel cut corners on texture shaders. Try this version:

It switches to a pixel shader 2 implementation when possible, and hopefully it will work around the problem.

Phaeron - 24 06 12 - 14:39

Yup, that's fixed it - checked in all combinations of Frame-blending and Direct3D9 options. Lovely!

Wesmond - 24 06 12 - 19:15

What's this game Wes?

Do tell or I get the thumb screws out!

Mclane - 24 06 12 - 21:22

Oooh, it's like that is it? ;-) Well... don't tell anyone (especially anyone really clever who I'm sure could do this better than me in no time if they wanted!), but someone in the AA forums mentioned as an example of something that would convert well to A8. Not much reply to it, so I had a look... and it is indeed a natural DLI exploiter. I could do it easily (and quite non-stylishly) in Turbo Basic or something, but thanks to Altirra/MADS/WUDSN and others in the AA forums, I just felt like doing it fully in assembler. If anyone's got an iphone with the app, and can tell me how those 200+ levels are initialised...?! Anyway, I've done the main bits of it, want to knock some music together, and populate it with real level data, and it'll be done. Finally getting to grips with my 800xl, and it's only taken 25 years...

Wesmond - 24 06 12 - 22:11

Good on you...Wish I still had the creative spark but as my 51st approaches on Thursday I feel my prgramming days are well and truly over (not that they were that good anyhow)

Mclane - 24 06 12 - 22:35

Much respect to you Wesmond! My own ASM fumblings are currently limited to changing the background setcolor's!!! My aim is to maybe be able to rewrite the atari 800 basic manual's programmes. And then do my own version of 'bomber' - which is something I try for every language I 'learn'. We will see.

morelenmir - 26 06 12 - 13:50

I like to request adjustable sharp bilinear to be added to Atirra. It is called pre-sampling and can be adjusted from 1X (Normal bilinear) to 8X (Sharpest bilinear). Atirra must scale input resolution by a factor before apply to output buffer. Video card will scale sampled resolution down to output resolution. MAME has adjustable sharp bilinear feature.

Also, scanlines can be adjustable. 0% = No scanlines 100% = Full scanlines 50% = Every second lines are retained intact but every other second lines's colors are darkened by 50%. Stella has adjustable scanlines.

Daniel - 26 06 12 - 14:12

Daniel, fully support your idea.
Avery, these filter settings in the emulator, it would be great.

breaker - 26 06 12 - 15:36

Just a further SHORT note about our OT discussion re 'Directory Opus' Paul - I was actually, despite everything wondering if there were some way I could possibly manage to wring out 55 from my miniscule income. And then I noticed this astonishing, insane price tag was not for a life-time license, just the current version increment!?!?!? My jaw genuinely dropped. Much as I like it, much as I have enjoyed using it, incredibly cool as the scripting engine is - NO piece of shareware is worth that much recurring cost. Not in my opinion. Absolutely NO way. 'Explorer' is not ace, but I can live with it a DAMN site easier than I could paying that much for those terms. It will be a cold day in hell, etc... The chap has a right to charge as much as he wants for his own software, absolutely he does. I've got an equal right not to use it. Insane. (And previously I though old VirtualAcorn took the first place for mind-boggling registration fees!!!)

ANYWAY!!! Without too much of a segue that whole farrago does serve to highlight how good a thing we have with Altirra - just as much ingenuity and skill is used in its production, I am certain Avery spends just as long working on it and yet he asks for no money. Once more. As so often before - my hat is off to you sir!!!

morelenmir - 26 06 12 - 16:23

MapRAM support.

breaker - 28 06 12 - 18:56

Tape Recorder???? xDDDDDDD

NSonic - 29 06 12 - 11:45

MapRAM fixed error.

breaker - 29 06 12 - 17:44

Sorry, no big emulation changes, but a bunch of knick-knacks:
- The program is now marked as high DPI aware in the manifest. This will makes the menus, dialogs and debugger UI look better when running at high DPI on Windows Vista or higher.
- Fixed some goofed up browse buttons in the H: dialog.
- Fixed IDE multiple sector reads of exactly 32 sectors.
- Fixed a case sensitivity bug in the Disk Explorer that allowed for duplicate files on DOS 2 filesystems.

Phaeron - 16 07 12 - 17:31

Thanks for updating, Avery !
I want to take an interest, whether in 2.1 versions emulation "antic H-scroll" will be realised or it will be made later?

breaker - 16 07 12 - 18:04

No, the hscrol bug is too much to emulate for 2.1. It requires heavy rework of ANTIC.

Quick fix for H: being broken with VBXE set to $D600:

Phaeron - 17 07 12 - 17:22

Can I confirm with you Avery that there's nothing that uses this HScroll bug in a positive way ie a funky new demo mode or is it just a destructive bug that crashes programs.

The point being, is there a good reason apart from completeness to emulate the bug?

Sergey, I'm not being negative but if its a useless bug that needs no implementation would you not rather Avery if he desires to work on something more useful?

Mclane - 18 07 12 - 00:14

Paul, you never started "acid test" on emulators atari?
Until then the error "antic h-scroll" will not be corrected yet - emulation will not be full.
If the emulator emulating atari on 100 % is necessary to you - is it is necessary.

guys, how are you things with the weather?
We just awful, 36-degree heat ...

breaker - 19 07 12 - 00:56

We here are either wet or 21 degree's, its not that hot at all..

As for the H-Scroll, yes I know it fails the acid test but its not a bug that brings anything useful, it just causes badly programmed things to crash on a real machine and allows the same items to run on emulators.

Its not like a graphic bug that can be exploited.

Basically you are asking Avery to rewrite the way he emulates ANTIC so you can see a tick on a box.

Whilst I have no doubt Avery will do it just for completeness I'd rather he spent his time doing something of more use, be that free time for himself, other projects or something nice on Altirra.

I'm not being negative, just stating the fact that there's not any real benefits of this bug being implememnted bar seeing Acid suite be happy.

Mclane - 19 07 12 - 03:30

It's silly to argue about this. First, Acid800 is not a comprehensive test because it can only test behavior that has a feedback path to the 6502 with standard hardware. There are many other unemulated behaviors that Acid800 can't verify. Second, I've already decided that I want to emulate it. Third, no one else sets the development priorities of my projects. You guys know as well as anyone else that I work on whatever I feel like working on and come up with pretty random stuff at times.

So, let's just say it's on the list, and move on.

As I've said before, I don't know of any programs that rely on this behavior, but people are hitting it accidentally when developing on an emulator first. It's actually REALLY easy to hit if you are doing per-scan scrolling, which is why I want to implement it. The intent is that you should be able to develop a program with Altirra and have it work on real hardware, and this is one of the things that gets in the way.

Small update, tweakable sharpness for the sharp bilinear filter:

I think I'll call this a release candidate for 2.1 -- better release at some point or this will go on forever.

It's been getting to around 27C around here... not all that hot compared to other places, but enough to make the laptop a bit warm.

Phaeron - 22 07 12 - 17:16

My apologies..

I just appreciate people's time, I've gone from a very hectic management lifestyle over the years to one of too much time due to ongoing illness. Because of that I champion people having their own time to themselves.

Silly I know but its actually a nice idea.

As for heat, 26c as I type at 9:31am so its going to hit around 30 they say, weird weather here in the UK, barely hit 20 for the most part of July and rained all the time and now its mini ott heatwave just across the south of England.

I reckon its you Americans and that Harrp weather control gadget you have ;)

Mclane - 22 07 12 - 20:34

Excellent, tweakable bilinear filter had been implemented. I loved it! I set sharpness setting to sharpest and keep it as is. I can now use square pixel without integral square pixel and can fill my entire screen without any distortion.

Thank very much!!!!!

Daniel - 23 07 12 - 12:56

Yes, thank you very much for setting up the filter.
it would be great if you can adjust the filter scanline.

breaker - 23 07 12 - 15:55

Breaker etc, keep the place busy..

In about a week I'll or so be off to hospital for an umbilical hernia op and while I'm there they want to havea look ata couple of other bits. I doubt I'll be up to sitting upright in a chair for a little so I'll miss whatever goes on here or elsewhere :)

I suspect I'll return to 2.1 final so there's a treat..

Cheers Paul..

And now its damn hot here 31C, wish I'd kept my mouth shut :)

Mclane - 25 07 12 - 23:06

will continue?

breaker - 08 08 12 - 23:01

I'm sure it will Breaker..

Anyway, count yourself lucky, I'm sitting here after having my operation moved to September, more time to sit and worry about it.

Mclane - 10 08 12 - 03:44

2.10 final is out. No functional changes besides the rebranding.

Phaeron - 13 08 12 - 12:23

Hey guys!!!

Its been a while since I have been over here... I see things have gone pretty quiet. Is Avery still ticking over with Altirra however slowly or is it officially dead?

morelenmir - 09 03 13 - 21:07

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