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More Demos and Movement

On Sunday evening, I worked through the NUSIZx and Missile demos and finally the playfield on Tuesday before moving on to Chapter 3: Movement.   I didn't have too much difficulty with the last demos in the graphics chapter and only had a few errors to correct each time before the program compiled correctly.  In Chapter 3, however, I am having some issues.  The ship sprite is not positioned correctly and, when it moves, it messes up the screen.  I've compared my code t


arwanderer in Programming

Experiments with Plasma

During a discussion with @SvOlli about how to optimize calculations required for a low-res, playfield based plasma effect within a 512 byte demo for the 2600, I started coding myself to verify my own ideas. This eventually led to the current code. Usually the plasma effect is created by combining sine waves. Since one of the goals was to use only minimal ROM space, I started by using precalculated, small sine tables. This worked OK, but still needed some ROM space and also a lot o

Thomas Jentzsch

Thomas Jentzsch in Code

Very Curious Stuff

Yes, that blog title is hinting at the subject of this post. Care to take a guess? Ok, yes, it was obvious to anyone with half a functioning brain that I'm referring to the Atari VCS, of which I am now a proud and unworthy user. As you can see by my thread in the VCS forum, I purchased this last December when Atari had a big sale going on, but didn't hook it up then because I simply didn't have room to do so. Fast forward about 9 months or so, and the recent news about Atari purchasing this very


Sauron in Atari VCS

Weird Paddle 3 issue on a 2600 4-switch?!

I've seen something similar to this before although not in the way I was seeing with a recent 4 switch console I was servicing. As part of diagnostics I will use Paul Slocum's excellent Test Cart program as it should some primary colors, shows the current state of all switches minus power of course, but also has a basic graphical view of each controller and small block on the bottom that will move left/right when you plug in paddles to test those too. So all in all a nice utility to know that al



Bentley Bear : The Unspoken Atari Mascot

https://www.atarilegend.com/games/bentley-bears-magical-anagramsIt has been asked over the years, if you have Sonic for Sega, and Mario for Nintendo, who is the mascot for Atari?   And while this has been debated, and other mascots concepts were made, one has managed to sneakily remain just out of the lime light, but just in sight.  A cute friendly looking bear that just likes to collect gems.  Why?   Who knows!?  Because... gems!    But he has a cool unlimited bag to hold the gems. 

Adding Players

After displaying the ball, the next section of the book covers player sprites, but no movement yet.  Since each demo builds upon the previous one, typing the code has become easier and some of the instruction sets are starting to make sense to me instead of just appearing to be a random set of three letters.  I'd recommend that anyone doing this for the first time type up each program from beginning to end instead of just copy/pasting work from the previous one.  This has helped me quite a bit.


arwanderer in Programming

Using a Classic Controller Pro in New Super Mario Bros. Wii by modifying an old Cheat Code

I wanted to play NSMBW for the first (kinda) time, in anticipation of the upcoming Super Mario Wonder. I did not feel like shaking the Wii remote though, and looked up other control options for actual hardware. (emulator can work around this pretty easy) It looked like from some googling, there was an ocarina cheat code to use with wii USB loaders (on your own backed up disc) that would allow one to use a classic controller.   Enable Classic Controller [Thomas83Lin] C21EB5B8 00000020


FireStar in Wii

The Beginning

My older brother gave me his Atari 2600 in 1996 when I was 8 years old, and it was my first gaming console.  A Sega Genesis soon followed and a couple years later, I got a PlayStation.  I still played my 2600 though, and within a few years, I had amassed quite a collection of games for it.  Anytime my mother and I would visit a flea market or Good Will store, I'd pick up a few cartridges for about $0.25 a piece!  I maintained a (mostly) casual interest in my Atari into adulthood.   Sometime in 2


arwanderer in Programming

There is another way... (5200 controller ...mod?)

This isn't a new idea, as even Atari themselves played with this idea but for some reason didn't go along with it. I also tried this on another controller a few years back and while it worked great where I had applied this on that one, I had never done the controller completely. What was that change/modification you ask?   This...   this...   and this...   So yes, those are in fact snap dome switches that I've used kapton tape to hold in
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