Saturday, 15 October 2016

Meeting report for October, 2016

Congratulations you have become a Pacmaniac!

Meeting report for September, 2016

Today, again, a party of 5! Reinhold, Monty, Matt, Andrew, and Tom turned out at the Moorabbin Melb PC HQ.
Amongst the politics, philosophy, and heated debate on whether boiled eggs should be cracked at the pointy or the bulbous end, we had a look at the following things: In a bid to make the rest of us look unproductive and useless (except for Matt, recent author of Trionoids for the Atari Falcon 030 - this needs a blog entry of its own), Andrew busted out the GFA Basic manuals (for the Atari ST) and explored some of the sample code and documentation, before moving onto the Assempro debugger with Abacus Atari ST Internals clasped firmly in hand (Hardcopies for sale here!). We'd better stop him before he does anything useful.

FINALLY, more to come on this also in possibly its own blog entry, we have discovered that a large amount of our collection is missing, presumed thrown away by people who did not realise its value and were cleaning up the area it was stored in. Items now gone from our collection include old Atari hardware and peripherals (some locally made and unique), software (MACE formerly hosted its own PD library and BBS, which included unique software written by members), magazines (many locally written and printed in Melbourne in the 1980's, as well as inter-club publications involving the now-defunct QACE (Queensland Atari Computer Enthusiasts) and other groups in Australia), club documentation and information going back to the 1970's.
This was all in storage, not accessed or reviewed regularly as part of our regular meetings. We'd been meaning to go through and catalogue it for many years, but now will not get the chance. We actually don't know the extent of what is missing because we don't know everything that was there, the club has a long history and we're just the few remaining members holding the fort. Not sure what else to say, recrimination seems pointles at this stage and all we can do is move on.

August 2016 Meeting Report

Hello and welcome to another fast'n'furious, action-packed MACE update!*** Apologies for the lack of recent contributions to the blog, we would have updated it more except that it's a chore and nobody ever reads it. There are some drafts floating around, however, that only require one last, thankless effort to get up on the blog, which hopefully you will see very soon!
Today, on this third Sunday of August, 2016, we had a good attendance in light of recent performance, with 5 members showing up for a chat, a cuppa, and a quick, incoherent ramble over topics as diverse as the ingredients of biscuits our grandmothers used to make, to the width of cardboard punch-cards used by Honeywell mainframe card readers in the 1960's. Such riotous goings-on would have been incomplete, of course, without a little dose of Atari.

With that laboured introduction finally over and done with, let us move onto some relevant topics. In today's meeting, amongst other things, we covered the following:
Douglas Little's excellent work in progress
  • Douglas Little / dml's 8-directional scrolling game prototyping engine, which incidentally has an impressive couple of splash screens in the introduction which use palette switching and dual-field techniques to display lots of colours on screen without using too much CPU. Direct download link (but check the atari-forum thread for latest version). We played this on a real STE and Atari SC1224 monitor, the results were particularly impressive to everybody present.
  • Continuing the theme of extra colours on screen, this time in the form of video, we had a quick look at the Sea Of Colour demo by Dead Hackers Society,
    A still from video loop in Sea Of Colour
    which amongst other things has an elegant and colourful video loop on the title screen. On our real STE and Atari monitor, again, the results were that much more satisfying to look at than on an emulator.
  • Elevated PC demo, which amazingly squeezes music and a fly-around of an icy, generated 3d landscape into a 4 kilobyte executable!
    Elevated - 4kb marvel
    The video on youtube uses approximately 5,000 times the space of the actual program to display the exact same content.
  • Another classic PC demo from all the way back in 2000 called Heaven Seven. It combines impressive visuals with a little introspection, and fits it all into 64 kilobytes! Again, at least 1000 times smaller than the youtube video of what it produces.
    Heaven Seven 64kb PC demo
  • A beautiful demo somewhat cryptically entitled Agenda Circling Forth. If you can't run the Windows executable, this demo deserves to be viewed in high quality video
    Agenda Circling Forth PC demo
  • And finally, lastly, but far from leastly, we took the time to have a bit of look at the web page of the Colombus Atari Computer Enthusiasts, who seem to be another Atari club still actively meeting every month in Ohio, USA, and with whom we compete grimly for relevance in the googles search results for very similar keywords! Judging by the photo's the demographic of the club is also very similar to ours (what's to be expected?!), we will endeavour to touch base with them in the near future.

***Product may not perform as advertised, results may vary, this is an indicative statement only on the potential quality of some versions of this product

Saturday, 17 September 2016

July 2016 Meeting

And here's what happened two months ago...


If you hadn't guessed it PACMANIA was a go!!

Also DML's scroller prototype plus 1943

Sunday, 21 August 2016

June 2016 Meeting

Here's what happened last month...


If you hadn't guessed it PACMANIA was a go!!

Also DML's scroller prototype plus 1943

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

May 2016 Meeting


If you hadn't guessed it PACMANIA was a go!!

Also DML's scroller prototype plus 1943

Sunday, 17 April 2016

April 2016 Meeting

MACE Apologies, with regular attendees starting to arrive from 10:20 am we didn't officially open the doors until 10:46 am today

Just as well we did though as we were treated to a new Atari Falcon action puzzle game that is nearing completion. Splendid Graphics I think we all got a little bit hooked

But that's not all, we also had a neat little device that makes file transfers for an Atari ST or Atari Falcon over a network a breeze. Sorry Ultrasatan & Drimg you've got a run for your money now

(Yes, well if you're coming in by Public Transport you'll have to add  in an error of +200% over the time it would take by car I would  imagine)

March 2016 Meeting

...Ah The Bard's Tale

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

February 2016 Meeting

I'd wholeheartedly recommend the Pyramid video switch box to any Atari user.  We started the meet with an Atari ST and an Atari STE hooked up to monochrome and color monitors.  Then the video switch box arrived and before long we were getting good results with a massive analog CRT television and even a big digital TV, with thanks to melb_pc and Tom's magic toolbox

Friday, 19 February 2016

January 2016 Meeting

Whilst we were away our Software did play, our picnic in the Park was far from dark.  In a matter of fact it was reminisce of Atari's own Centipede with spiders jumping all about the place (But they were small and colorful so we didn't mind, too much)