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New FONT/TRON OS for the 5200!


SoundGammon
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Hi 5200 fans!

 

Years ago, I was able to do a custom OS for the 5200 changing the font, text or character set it uses. Found it the other day!

I never liked the character set when it was enlarged on the 8-bit and the 5200.

Some games already use a custom font like Centipede, Realsports Baseball (just to change the 0!), Space Dungeon-play screens.

Star Raiders uses a custom font on the bottom of the battle screen.

It was ok for basic programming and Atari Writer but that was about it. I did a custom OS for the XL-XE systems, (more on that later in the 8-bit section).

So I did some reading about the 5200 OS and found that the character set was in one-half of the 2K OS. So after some trial and error, I found that the OS chip has the same pin out of a 2532 Eprom chip!

So I copied it to ram and copied a different character set over the old one. Burned it to a 2532 chip and presto! There it was.

I'll make copies for anyone for their 5200 if they send me a 2532 eprom! Also, I'd like to send one to someone who could post it on-line and use it in an emulator.

 

Here's some before and after screenshots:

 

(Note: Original shots from AtariAge and the new ones are quick pics off my big screen in classic CHANNEL 3 RF mode. Did some quick "painting" to hide the flash!

 

I'll be posting more soon...

 

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The problem with doing single pixel width lines is you'll get artifacting in 40 column hires mode + they generally look a bit crap anyway.

 

IMO a better solution might be an arcade type font that's 7 pixels high for most letters instead of 6. But they tend not to look as good as the default font in the 20 column coloured modes.

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Interesting. I was thinking how cool it would be to re-do the 5200 BIOS to add back a lot of what was stripped from the A8 BIOS. Of course, you'd probably need some "high memory" type scheme added so that old games wouldn't accidentally access it and crash.

 

Just for kicks, what about adding Colecovision fonts?

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It will be awhile before I can dig out my Atari disks and get Compute magazines "Font-Editor".

 

Meanwhile, I'm going to try and edit the copyright message at the bottom to read something else.

 

Maybe like ATARI 5200 SUPERSYSTEM, or how about SYSTEM X 2000?

 

Also maybe I could make it personal with the owners name!

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I

 

The screen shots look great. If anyone sends you an eprom it's best to check with them if they want the 2 port or 4 port bios since they are different.

Your right, I have both systems. I've always wanted to see what happens if I put a 4 port bios into a 2 port and see what happens, or vice-versa! Got to try it!

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Hah, cool, just noticed this. I did this about 10 years ago, it's fun stuff. If you really want to piss off homebrew devs, that use the splash screen bypass method, you could disable it in the BIOS. :evil:

 

On the 7800, this is not possible, so I just recently made a new BIOS for the 7800, that doesn't display the splash screen and immediately executes the cartridge. When you make more than one cart, this is valuable time. ;)

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Hah, cool, just noticed this. I did this about 10 years ago, it's fun stuff. If you really want to piss off homebrew devs, that use the splash screen bypass method, you could disable it in the BIOS. :evil:

 

On the 7800, this is not possible, so I just recently made a new BIOS for the 7800, that doesn't display the splash screen and immediately executes the cartridge. When you make more than one cart, this is valuable time. ;)

I need a hack of the XL-XE bios so it will by passes the power up test. If I change the character set, one of the roms on the test screen show up in red! I can also put in the fast math routines and faster cassette save/loads.

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I

 

Your right, I have both systems. I've always wanted to see what happens if I put a 4 port bios into a 2 port and see what happens, or vice-versa! Got to try it!

 

Without going through 2000 threads, I wonder if it would be possible with a mod that add the extra 2 controller ports to a 2-port model without resorting to external hardware like that 8-player hack on the A8 side. Then again, if it was possible, I'd assume A8 owners would've already done that to at least the XL models.

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