1. Not old. Vintage. :)

Quick and Easy Tips (Atari)

Collection of quick and easy tips for use with Atari 8-bit

{From a defunct Atari board}

As it says in the title really: A collection of quick and easy tips for use with Atari8 hardware. These are the kind of things we ALL know - but sometimes forget.
My idea is (for those of us at a "forgetful age") will somehow reduce our Homer Simpson "D'oh!" moments.

Hopefully, you'll add your own below and I'll compile them into the top post as a nice reference point for all. Don't worry if you don't have any to add. Just hope it becomes a useful thread. Oh, and for ease of reference - I'll try and keep it in alphabetical order.

800XE GTIA - Test Script
10 GR. 9:D=1:FOR X=0 TO 79
20 COLOR C:C=C+D: IF C=15 OR C=0 THEN D=-D
30 PLOT X,0:DR. X,191
50 G. 50
Above will produce a smooth pattern if OK - otherwise = faulty GTIA.

800XE GTIA - Test Script

An even quicker test (thanks Fred_M) insert a Lucasfilm cartridge. distorted intro = buggy GTIA, smooth intro = good GTIA

1050 - Power, but doesn't spin up
check & re-seat main ICs U7 U8 U9 U10 U13
replace above with known working ICs - and re-test after each one.
try different PSU
test voltage between TP14 + TP15 - should = 12vDC - if nothing, look at likely cap C70

1050 - Spins...stops...spins...stops etc (2 sec intervals)
remove everything that could be unseated/unplugged - including jumpers/ICs etc
clean board
blowcompressed air through everything
reconnect all jumpers, and reseat ICs

ATARIMAX - 32-In-1 Config
SELECT @ Power Up


Mount ATR @ D1: in APE
MYIDE cart in Atari
Power up Atari with OPTION
Follow On-Screen Options

Find image
“C” for COLD + ATR Boot
Strip Width

Autorun - for Basic files
■ SETUP.COM file creates AUTORUN.SYS files for BASIC- This can be done using Dos 2.5 Master Disk
menu available:
1. Change current drive number
2. Change system configuration
3. Set up AUTORUN for Boot

Autorun.sys - Re-run without Reset
■ hit RESET
■ type BYE hit RETURN
@ self-test screen
■ hit RESET
AUTORUN.SYS will start

Disable BASIC
from a READY prompt - or form within BASIC
■ type POKE 1016,1
■ hit RETURN
■ hit RESET
a warmstart will now take you to DOS

BASIC Revision
ATARI BASIC revision
You can tell which revision of BASIC you have by PEEKing location 43234.
■ enter PRINT PEEK(43234)
- 162 = Rev A
- 96 = Rev B
- 234 = Rev C

BREAK key - disable
POKE 53774,64 and POKE 16,64
POKEs must be added to your program, after every GRAPHICS, PRINT, or OPEN instruction.

Coldstart automatically
POKE 580,1
every time RESET is pressed a Coldstart is forced

Directory File
Create a file on disk of that disk's directory contents
10 DIM A$(20),B$(1280)
20 OPEN #1,6,0,"D:*.*":TRAP 80
40 INPUT #1;A$:B$(LEN(B$)+1)=A$
60 GOTO 40
80 CLOSE #1:OPEN #1,8,0,"D:DISKDIR"
90 B$(LEN(B$)+1)=" ":B$(LEN(B$)+1)=A$
110 M=17:FOR N=1 TO LEN(B$)/M
130 PRINT #1,B$((N-1)*M+1,N*M)
b]Dos - access without OPTION[/b]
you forgot to hold down OPTION key on powerup?
■ POKE 1016,255
this will take you direct to DOs and BASIC will NOT be installed

DOS 3 - File Managment Error Fix

first you need to identify if you have the newer or older [buggy] Dos 3
■ PRINT PEEK(3889)
78 = latest version, 76 = early (buggy) version
■ to fix a "76" type this program and save to disk
10 POKE 3889,78:pOKE 39
23,78:pOKE 3943,78
26 POKE 3929,76:pOKE 38
95,76:pOKE 3901.77
30 POKE 3935,77:pOKE 39
55,77:pOKE 2117,240
■ RUN it
■ exit to DOS >> with a blank disk >> I - initialise disk >> Y to write FMS.SYS.
■ Copy all files (but not FMS.SYS) from your Master disk to new disk.
You now have a version 78 Dos 3 disk

Dos - Indentify Version
■ in BASIC @ READY prompt
■ enter PRINT PEEK(3889) and hit RETURN
0 = SpartaDOS 2.3e
13 = DOS 4.0
15 = SpartaDOS 1.1
19 = Atari 2.5
76 = Atari 3.0
78 = Atari 3.0
89 = SpartaDOS 3.2d
108 = MYDOS 4.0
207 = OSS OS/A+ 4.00
221 = MYDOS 4.50
238 = OSS DOS XL 2.3
244 = Atari XE
■ enter PRINT PEEK (1804) and hit RETURN
0 = OSS DOS XL 2.3
124 = Atari 2.0s

Drives 3 & 4
Although Dos will work with 4 drives you need to tell it that you have more than 2 drives.
Flag 1802 needs to be set correctly
a standard setup will allow for 2 drives, therfore location 1802 has it's lowest two bits set at 3 - ie 0011
using a POKE command you can change the flags in location 1802, thus,
2 drives = 3 = 0011
3 drives = 7 = 0111
4 drives = 15 = 1111
you can access 8 drives, but each additional drive will need 128 bytes of memory

Duplicate Filenames
where you've somehow created two different files with the same name.
■ create backup of file on another disk.
■ Type POKE 3118,0 and hit RETURN key
■ Go to DOS. hit START button
■ Option E - rename file (affects only first file)
■ Press B to return to BASIC. POKE 3118,184. You you should now have two different files with two fifferent filenames.

Filenames - Upper/Lower case

■ POKE 3818,48:pOKE 3822,123.

FORMAT disk from BASIC
■ enter X=USR(3352)
to format a disk from a READY prompt

GTIA Identification
20 GOTO 20
black screen = new version. blue screen = old version.

IDE Plus 2.0 - Access Config Menu

>> Boot with START
Config Menu = START + RESET

SDrive (ARM) - Boot Sequence

0. Power on atari, what while loader starts.
1. assign game to D1:
2. Press 'Reset'
3. Press 'Option'
4. Release 'Reset'
5. Release 'Option'

International Character Set

■ enable = POKE 756,204
■ disable = POKE 756,224

Keyboard Disable
■ POKE 16,255
prevents people messing when you're away from your desk

Keyclick Disable
■ disable = POKE 731,255
■ re-enable = POKE 731,0

Memory Wipe
■ enter POKE 202,1.
add above POKE to a program and it'll be wiped from memory when ended, hitting BREAK, RESET or any return to READY prompt will completely wipe your program from memory.

MEM.SAV workaround
You can create a MEM.SAVE file from BASIC
■ enter X=USR(5947)
XL - press RESET after disk access has stopped
400/800 will return an ERROR 9 once MEM.SAV file has been successfully saved

OS version - 400/800 thanks Fred_M
? PEEK(65528)
34 = PAL rev. B (not found anywhere yet)
214 = PAL rev. A
221 = NTSC rev. A
243 = NTSC rev. B
255 = NTSC first OS (not found anywhere yet)

OS version - XL/XE thanks Fred_M
? PEEK(65527)
1 = XL/XE OS rev. 1
2 = XL/XE OS rev. 2
3 = XL/XE OS rev. 3
4 = XL/XE OS rev. 4
10 = XL/XE OS rev. 10
11 = XL/XE OS rev. 11
59 = XL/XE OS rev. 3B (Arabic)

POKE - Permanent
Any POKES that you make in immediate mode (READY prompt) can be made permanent.
■ type DOS to go
■ at DOS menu
■ option H - this will rewrite a modified (with POKES) version of DOS to disk.

Print Disk Directory from Dos
■ type A
■ hit RETURN
■ type: ,P: RETURN

Print Files - from Dos
A quick way to print files to screen or printer - direct from Dos
■ turn on printer
■ from Dos - select : option C - COPY FILE.
■ at prompt enter D:FILENAME.EXT,
after , enter either
P: - for printer or S: - for Screen
screen scrolling can be paused suing CONTROL + 1

With BUTTON = Ult 1Mb will check if pressed
W/O BUTTON = Ult 1Mb will ignore if pressed
BUTTON OFF = cart active
BUTTON PBI BIOS = disabled cart
**BUTTON forces cart off, allowing you to swap ATRs
*** PBI BUTTON checks button regardless of when enabled or disabled in BIOS
PBI Enabled? Must also set

SIDE2 - as an XEX Loader

Prepare CF CARD
add games
Insert CF card to SIDE 2
move switch to UP position (ultimate users – disable PBI DEVICE in ultimate bios)
power up atari ATARI
Select/enter chosen file
restart/reset computer press switch at SIDE2 and RESET on ATARI

SIDE2 - Sparta DOS Mode (hard disk interface)
Prepare CF CARD
Insert CF card to SIDE 2
Adjust switch to LOWER position (ultimate 1mb users – disable PBI DEVICE + SDX in ultimate bios)
Power up ATARI
Sparta Dos with SIDE2 drivers swill boot. when CF card is correctly prepped partition list will be displayed.

SIDE2 - ATR loader (ult 1mb users only)
HELP+RESET to access ultimate bios
Enable Sparta DOS, PBI device with BUTTON SUPPORT
PRESS+HOLD “L” to activate SIDE2 loader
SELECT *.atr file + ENTER
for multidisc software, press SPACEBAR to mark file as D1:
select subsequent disks and SPACEBAR to mark *.atr file it will be marked as D2: , D3: etc
Enter to restart
SIDE2 switch reassigns disk mapping for *.atr files
D1 D2:D3:D1:

SIDE2 - CF Prep
Insert CF card to SIDE 2
Adjust switch to LOWER position (ultimate 1mb users – disable PBI DEVICE + SDX in ultimate bios)
Power up ATARI
Sparta Dos with SIDE2 drivers swill boot. when CF card is correctly prepped partition list will be displayed.
sdx bootup should take you to a D1: prompt
select initialize disk
"scanning bus"
select IDE1 - CFcard *****
contents will be erased? Y/N - Y
FAT32 partition Y/N
assign your APT = 256
select unallocated disk
Create New - 65537
continue creating until CF partitions all allocated as desired
when done - DISK - Write Table
once "partition table updated", select DISK, EXIT, Y
D1: format
Unit = A, Volume = leave blank, Skew = n/a, Density = DD 512, Mode = Sparta, Tracks = n/a
Optimize = On
65535 sectors, 512 BPS, ********* bytes,
format = n/a,
Unit = A should change to "B"
Select "B" Build Directory
returns you to D1: prompt
A B etc - D1: D2 etc

Smooth Scrolling
with any program loaded into BASIC
■ POKE 622,255 ($26E)
■ LISTwill result in a smooth scroll
■ exit to DOS - command is still enabled
■ disable using POKE 622,0.

Ultimate 1Mb - Config
HELP @ Power Up

Ultimate 1Mb Default Settings

1088 / stock XL - DIS DIS DIS DIS DIS 7 CAR3 CAR3

Ultimate 1Mb - Flashing/Resetting Firmware
Boot with HELP
Set ram = 1088
SIDE hardware = OFF
Remove SIDE cart
Copy Rom Files & UFLASH.XEX to folder
Mount Folder in ASPEQT as D1: “MOUNT FOLDER”
Boot computer…SDX will load
Navigate to BIOS, PBI Bios & Loader (each in turn) hitting RETURN and navigating to relevant ROM file

Wildcard Character
if you'd like to replace the standard "*" wildcard with a character of your choosing
■ POKE 3783,
with ATASCII value you prefer

Word Count
Ever wanted to count the words in your text files?
10 OPEN #1,4,0,"D:filename"
20 TRAP 100
30 GET #1,B
40 IF B<>32 and B<>142 THEN 30
50 GET #1,B:IF B=32 OR B=155 THEN 50
70 GOTO 30
100 PRINT "Word Count = ";COUNT

XL - BASIC Rev/Version Identifier
162 = Brown Cart = Rev
96 = RevB = stock XL
234 = RevC = late XLs

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