Posted in 2022

Atari 800 Winter Solstice Celebration Demo

Every December, I try to make a little wintery demo to exercise one of 8bitworkshop’s platforms. This year, I chose the Atari 800 to test out the new native TypeScript emulator in 8bitworkshop. You can see the demo emulated here.

I revisted my Bally Astrocade “Happy 2020” Demo, which simulates falling snow. It uses pixel-level collision to simulate each falling particle, which creates neat little piles of snow and particles that ripple off the sides of obstacles.

Atari ANTIC Mode $F uses the GTIA chip to add additional modes beyond what the original CTIA chip provides. I used GTIA Mode 10, which is 80 x 192 pixels with nine different colors.


Read more ...

Displaying QR codes on 8-bit hardware

It’s often hard to interface the world of 8-bit computing with modern digital devices. These machines don’t have USB, Wifi, Ethernet, or anything resembling a modern interface.

It’s interesting to think about ways older machines can communicate with modern devices using only hardware of the era – even if it might be kind of convoluted. One of these methods might be via QR code.

A QR code is a two-dimensional pattern that encodes a short string of bytes or text – often a URL. These patterns can be printed on paper, or displayed on a screen. If you scan the pattern with your phone’s camera, it decodes the pattern, and displays the encoded text or URL.

Read more ...

Mastodon and the Vintage BASIC Bot

Mastodon has gained popularity as an alternative to commercial social media, especially within the #retrocomputing community. Even 8bitworkshop is on Mastodon, so feel free to follow! Just post into your search bar.

One feature of the “other” social media network (affectionally known as “Birdsite” on Mastodon) is the presence of bots.

Read more ...

8bitworkshop 3.10.0 Release

It’s been awhile since we had a proper IDE release. Here’s what’s new in 3.10.0:

New Atari PCS Emulator – The old Atari 800 emulator relied upon MAME, which was adequate but lacking in performance and debuggability. The new emulator is written in TypeScript, is cycle-accurate 1 and runs most cartridge-based games pretty well. It can even load certain well-behaved XEX files.

Read more ...