1. Not old. Vintage. :)

Using Atarimax APE's Remote Feature

Discussion in 'SIG: Atari 8-Bit Hardware' started by Timothy Kline, Jun 6, 2020.

  1. by Timothy Kline
    Timothy Kline

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    This post is really to @M.D.Baker since he's the only person I know who has ever so much as mentioned this feature, but the APE or something associated with it allows for remote control or access. And nobody has posted any videos on Youtube. I'll do a search at AtariAge when I'm next there, of course, but Matt, would you have time to put some How-To together, whether typed up (screenshots?) or a video tutorial that I can add to the Resources area for noobs like me...?

    Anyone else's experience is welcome on this, too!

    Thanks, in advance!
    --Tim
     
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  2. by Paul "Mclaneinc" Irvine
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    Wish I could help but I've never owned APE bar the restricted demo and even then rarely used it..
     
  3. by Timothy Kline
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    ________ ________

    I didn't even know such a thing was available with APE, and I'd been a faithful APE user since Steve developed it, finally purchasing a licensed copy from him.

    Even the ProSystem feature was something I didn't understand until my return to Atari a few years ago— and still didn't use it until recently when I found some disks that had been requested over at AtariAge recently. But then someone said that the ProSystem method can actually damage a diskette someone's trying to duplicate, so that was a bummer to hear, considering the level of care I try to take with that sort of process. While it's true that I could send disks off to someone with a Kryoflux device, I'm reluctant to entrust a magnetic media of vintage age and already tenuous to a delivery company— no matter how well I stamp MAGNETIC MEDIA all over the package.

    I thought I had purchased a kryoflux, actually. Turns out it's simply a unit that lets me use a standard PC 5.25" PC floppy drive to copy a variety of computers formats. A different animal, but came in handy as I recently plowed my way through about 300 PC floppies I'd picked up in some bundles with an XT machine. Out of the 300 some disks, only THREE were any good! Disk rot, mostly, from what I can tell. Made the process of trying to copy them long and tedious with the cleaning, but I didn't have to set up a system and experience it in "real-time" either.

    But the remote control feature... like I mentioned above, I never even knew it was a thing until Matt had mentioned it at Brenski's board. I think I'd asked about it and he did reply... but unless he or someone else has time to re-explain or do a guide, I'm at an impasse on seeing if it's something that would make my Atari QOL improved since time with it can sometimes be at a premium, what with... oh, economic survival and daily obligations and all... o_O

    I'd love to put the same in the Resources, for both personal reference and so anyone else can make use of it, too.

    --Tim
     
  4. by Vyper68
    Vyper68

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    I always wondered about APE as it ( I think ) allows you to emulate the modem and get on BBS’s where RespeQT doesn’t.
    I think getting the kit from the US at the moment is problematic and I don’t know if the guy still makes his products nowadays
     
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  5. by Timothy Kline
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    ________ ________

    Steve's still fulfilling orders insofar as I know myself or have heard in the broader Atari community. I'd heard that about RespeQT, but I was already a legacy APE/SIO2PC owner by the time RespeQT came around, and APE more than met my needs, and continues to do so. It just works, and it runs solid.

    I think I mentioned this in another post, but my 1200XL Workstation boots off APE, off the laptop I use for the connection. The time taken may not be as fast as when I boot from the U1MB or SIDE/2, but it continues to be well ahead of the curve against booting from a 1050, Happy-fied or not.

    And this method allows me to efficiently move between the 1200XL Workstation and the same environment virtualized through Altirra, since I like to run emulations— not to mention the avoidance of the wear-and-tear that would come during those sessions when I'm testing various .atrs or just vetting batches of applications that will require constant reboots of the machine.

    This past week, for example, I was vetting the various accounting and business apps in my collection of Atari 8-bit software to get a feel where suites and stand-alones were at that time and if they're what I'm looking for. Lots of reboots, so that was handled on Altirra. ;)

    Thomas Cherryhomes's new SIO device shows a lot of promise for taking such connections to wi-fi, but I expect I'll be using APE simply because it works, and has been what I need here. Others' mileage varies, of course, and I think RespeQT fits the needs of those who have gone that route. But yes, the BBSing capability is a strong vote in favor of Steve Tucker's APE/SIO2PC combo.

    Not to mention connecting any Atari 8-bit floppy directly to your PC for duplication and preservation projects, via USB and APE, although not everyone seems to nod for the ProSystem feature, feeling it can do more damage than other available preservation devices such as a kryoflux. Maybe it can, maybe not. Everything has risk, doesn't it?

    What I have learned through experience myself is that compared to the high death rate of PC 5.25" floppies I've had since mt IBM XT-clone days, Atari floppies have held reliable for me. Out of the 100s of Atari floppies I keep stored until needed, I've had two show as bad. And those were something that came with an auction that arrived in shabby condition.

    Others mileage varies, again. But I continue to be amazed and appreciate how well Atari 8-bit tech holds up, year after year, giving the Atari 8-bit community the opportunity to preserve software for when the storage medium finally breathes its last. You'd think that since PC software is more recent, it'd be more probable to be in good reading state. And don't even get me started on the number of 3 1/2" disks I keep discovering have failed on me. I'm glad I already have them .img'd but still! Those disks are better protected than 5 1/4" floppies, with that shield and all!!!

    Anyhow... I've blathered on long enough, lol!

    --Tim
     
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  6. by Vyper68
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    I use RespeQT with a SIO2PCUSB from Lotharek and my old Laptop. It means I can load most software except for .rom and .car files. It is a very good program and covers most of what I currently need. I do have to put up with a noisy laptop using RespeQT but it’s only a minor quibble really. I am thinking about getting a UNO cart to cover the gap in supported formats, I ideally want an AVG cart but they are not available right now sadly.
    I do like the option in APE to use a Modem but would I use it enough to justify the purchase? I don’t know if it does. The SIO WiFi dongle is an interesting bit of kit and if the C64 can do it the I’m sure the Atari is more than capable as well.
    I currently don’t have a 1050 but Graham has one set aside for me so when he has recovered we will be able to sort something out. I have a spare Arduino and was thinking of building a SD-Drive Max as I have done it before and it’s pretty straightforward. I find being tethered to the laptop is a bit inhibiting so anything that improves that situation would be welcome. I have bought a couple of Atari disks ( Mercenary and The Second City expansion ) I hope they work but it won’t be the end of the world if not. I do think that Atari kit in the WB era was very good, the later XE range I’m not so sure of and as far as 5.25” disks go I think a lot depends upon how they were stored in the intervening years, some people looked after them and some left them lying around out of their dust jackets and near magnetic sources. It can be a bit of a lottery these days.
     
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  7. by M.D.Baker
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    I'll catch up on reading through the thread in a bit, I just thought I'd throw a couple things out there in answer to Tim's questions and alarms first.
    1) I've used the Prosystem for 15 years at least to duplicate disks or write disks to ATR's, and never once has it hurt any disk or ATR image or done anything but copy ATR properly back to disk and even saved many a disk from the litter bin as you can still write to back sectored disks and have the disk work as long as the bad sectors are further along on the disk than the program on the ATR uses (90K disks but working programs on them may only take up half the ATR's 90K, for example). I don't know who told you Prosystem was dangerous, but they just don't know what they are talking about at all. Period. Maybe the disk(s) they were duplicated were about to give up the ghost anyway, and ANY use in any way would have ruined them.

    2) Remote control is reached, IIRC, by holding START&SELECT down when powering up, it may be OPTION&SELECT, it's been a couple years now since I have been able to use it. But for the most part, once you get to the screen it is self-explanatory, you have a screen that shows all the virtual drives like on APE on the PC and you can swap, load, mount, search, etc., from the Atari instead of going to the PC to do so. There are some features I've never figured out, but I don't even recall what they are atm, and there never was any instructions anywhere from Steve on how to use it, but I never did look on the Atarimax forums, there may be some info there about it.
     
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  8. by M.D.Baker
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    APE is leaps and bounds better and more useful in many, many ways that AspeQT or RespQT ever were or probably ever will be. Ignore all the morons on AA that insist they are as good or better because they are too cheap to pay the licensing fee (one time fee) for the fully working APE. Especially the jack-asses like FJC who insist they know better. Just like his insistence a few years back that the 32-in-1 is overkill and worthless because it can't be programmed. Never mind the fact that if you actually BUY the product (instead of just trying to fix other's when you have no clue because you never bought it for yourself, FJC-looking at you) and that you are given a code and a link to go download and use the programmer for it. What a tool he is.

    It's well worth the investment and you will love it.
     
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  9. by Timothy Kline
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    Here's what I found at AtariAge that involved remote control via APE. I take it that the Remote Feature only works with Warp/OS+, then? Other threads that I found that discussed the feature were dead-ended with people saying that they'd find out and get back (a long time ago...!)

    --Tim


    Gunstar
    Posted May 15, 2002
    The APE cable and/or SIO2PC cable are generally connected through the RS232 ports or printer port. With the APE software you can use a utility called 'Remote control' which is downloaded to the Atari XE by the Ape software and cable and lets you take control of the PC's printers, modems, etc. I have never heard of one of these cables being made for use through a LAN port, but I'm sure it's possible (on the cable end), but I doubt if the APE software would recognize it, you would have to probably use the older software that originally made use of the SIO2PC cable (both cables are compatible with APE). Anyhow, I know there are terminal programs like ICE-T, which I've not bothered to try, so I'm not sure how much of a "browser" it is, but yes, it is possible to connect the XE to the internet, but you would be restricted to 19,200 baud, I think. I'm not sure how the ICE-T program actually works though, I'll have to check it out. I'm sure there are other programs that would work too, like BObterm, etc. and I do know that there is at least one site that was recently enabled to be specifically Atari 8-bit computer/emulator friendly. Unfortunately I forget the address off hand, I think they also have a BBS number to call and log in without the use of a PC. Basically, it's possible, but I'm uncertain of the extent of what can be done/used on the net, most likely it will be strictly text/html stuff. But I don't believe it can work through LAN.​

    Posted December 23, 2003
    bryede said:
    Another problem is that you would need your custom R: handler running all the time, so the programs you load would have to cooperate with memory resident stuff like that. Compatibility would take a big hit.
    I guess you could write a complete DOS that uses the R: device linked to a PC and that would work for some things, but what you're basically describing is writing an elaborate RS-232 terminal package for the 8-bit, and you still need to boot this software locally before you could even communicate with a specially designed PC counterpart.
    I don't see this as a practical thing to add to APE. With the interfacing method you're talking about, it would not be a "Peripheral Emulator."
    -Bry
    BTW... You don't need a boot disk to use a hard drive with an MIO. The hard drive itself can be bootable (if you install DOS on a partition and make it D1:), and it's quite fast.

    I don't think it would take such an elaborate terminal package to load FILES, not disk images, through the R: handler, I really do think support for this could be done in small modules added to APE's remote control program and a small null modem protocal program initiated from a batch file on the bootdisk, accessing the remote control program's menu directory (which uses whatever dos you want, I use Spartados)through the R1: instead of D1:. APE in turn would have a similiar null modem protocal added to it through the com port. I don't see that compatibility would be a problem for most program FILES that load fully into memory, which is most programs, with room to spare(for the null modem program), since most programs are 48k. I never expected it to work with disk images, most 8-bit programs can be found on the internet in file form(.com, .exe, .bin, .xex, etc.) from hackers over the years. But hey, if you don't think so and think it's pointless, fine, your not the author of the programs surrounding A.P.E and that's who I'm going to talk to about it, since he seems to be an expert in such things. If he tells me it can't be done, fine. As a matter of fact, I didn't even start this thread, A2600 did, and then he asked me to come and explain what he was talking about (something I had mentioned to him that he's jumped the gun on and gotten excited about). I never planned to mention anything about it at all here until I had corresponded with him on the idea. I never wanted your opinion or anyone elses except Steven Tucker's. I believe it could work and work well, and will stick to my idea until I find out from the man I know, knows: the author.​
     
  10. by M.D.Baker
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    Honestly I never tried to use Remote Control with anything other than the Warp+ OS since I use it 99.9% of the time since it is high-speed and compatible with OS-A/B too. And I prefer it's green screen over Atari's OS blue-always hated that and Commodore 64 blue screen. But my guess is it will work with any OS on the 32-in-1. But I think I might have been wrong about Remote Control being downloaded from APE to the Atari, I think it IS the 32nd OS on the 32-in-1 (count all the spaces and you will see only 31), and you use it separately from any other OS; after using it, it either takes you to the last OS you picked from the menu, or it takes you to the menu to pick an OS, I forget which.
     
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  11. by Vyper68
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    Can I ask about the 32-1 OS board Matt? Is it worth importing one? In the past I used to have a dual OS DIY solution with Hiassofts patched Atari OS with another in the other half of a 32KB EEPROM. So it would be interesting to hear your opinion on it and how it integrates with the APE software.
     
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  12. by M.D.Baker
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    I really like my 32-in-1, however, it does come loaded with a bunch of redundant OS's, for example I see no need for every revision of XL/XE OS's on it, just the best and most compatible is all that is needed, and it doesn't have the latest OS's always, for example Qmeg OS is Rev. 3 and 4 (which I have on my Syscheck board) is so much better you'd never want to use 3 again. But since it can be reprogrammed (something I haven't gotten around to yet) you can put all the best OS's on it and get rid of some of the redundancies. The biggest reason is I love Warp+ OS that comes with it, and it's the only way I know of to get this OS. Once you buy it and get the link and code to reprogram, Warp+ is available to you to put on say, and U1MB though, but then you can't have 32-in-1 and U1MB installed at the same time!

    Having said all of that, though, it is all on a flash chip, which don't seem to last as long as eproms or roms, and in fact, I believe it is my 32-in-1 OS (no proof yet) that is causing my red screen of death on my 1200XL right now, and I have no way to test this theory without installing another OS and see if my computer works, something I'm going to do, once I have my 800 wioth Incognito working so I can use my XL/XE burner to burn new eproms for a 4-in-1 OS board I got from Dropcheck and test that theory. So, if it is the 32-in-one that went bad, just 3-4 years after I got it, then that doesn't make me want to buy another. But I won't know for sure until I try replacing it. It could be the support chip on the board that went bad too, and not the flash chip. And easy fix really, if you know what you are doing, but tough to diagnose.

    As to integrating with APE software, nothing works better, and the Remote Control feature of it cannot be had anywhere else but with the 32-in-1.

    The bottom line for me is, I love the 32-in-1, but if it is the reason for my 1200XL not working, I doubt I will be replacing it, I'll instead throw in one of Dropcheck's 4-in-1's that I can make into an 8-in-1 by piggy-backing and then I also have my 4 OS's on the Syscheck board that can also be reprogrammed, maybe even with APE WARP+ OS since I own one and have access to the reprogrammer and Warp OS+ rom, and I think that between both, 12 OS's will be plenty to choose from. So FJC is right that it can be a bit of overkill, but still fun to have all those OS's to choose from (if reprogrammed with less redundancy OS's).

    If my issues are not caused by the 32-in-1, I plan to reprogram it and continue to use and enjoy it for years to come, especially with the Remote Control feature. But if reprogrammed, you don't have to fill up every spot, if all you want is OS B, XL/XE stock OS, High-speed OS, Qmeg 4, and some Omnimon/view, etc. You could just program it for say a dozen of all the best OS's and leave it at that.

    I think that is about as fair and honest a report on the 32-in-1 I can give you at this time.
     
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  13. by Paul "Mclaneinc" Irvine
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    I'm looking at the 32 in 1 for my XE, trying to decide if I have a real need for it as I have Syscheck and already customised the 3 spare slots on it to different OS's. Trying to work out the difference between the modified Hias patched high speed OS and Warp +, I do have or use APE...

    Thanks to me pulling out of getting a PSIO PSX thing which was one of two already allotted money buys I had in mind (Sophia 2 is the other) I now have some spare after seeing my entire chunk of inheriance get used up by bills for Uni (I'm happy for it to go to that, my daughter is the world to me).

    Thanks to Bob's 2K that is being realised and I get a treat to :)
     
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  14. by M.D.Baker
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    The high-speed difference between Hias and Warp+ is significant, since Warp+ is older it only does the 3x ultra-speed mode used with Happy and other floppy drives, while Hias does the 0 divisor which means speeds upto 120+ vs. 57 for Warp+. But, that's ALL Hias OS does compared to the standard XL/XE OS, while Warp+ has much more to it. Plus, as said, the 32-in-1 has the Remote Control feature that this thread is about. Honestly, the 3x Ultraspeed is enough for me, things load very fast and it's only a difference of maybe a few seconds more to load any 48 or 64K game compared to divisor 0. Divisor 0 shines with 128K+ software, but those are few and far between, so I've never used it myself (not sure if my old RS232 SIO2PC can handle it anyway). I get even faster loads than Hias divisor 0 speed with MyIDE II and The!Cart and Incognito CF anyway, and I'm either using them or floppies, and rarely any SIO stuff like SDrive-Max or APE anymore anyway; just to transfer to my CF card partitions. So I guess it depends on what you use most, and if a few minor seconds of waiting longer makes any difference to you, to me it doesn't.

    Like I always say, when people are complaining about how long old tape or floppy stuff takes to load; it's all relative, by the time I turn on my Xbox One, get it boot-strapped, OS loaded, system on-line, pick a 100 gig game to load and am finally playing it, I can have a cassette tape on my 1010 loaded too! So if one is willing to wait for all that on modern systems, why the fuss over the wait on vintage systems? It's total nonsense to me to be patient for one and not the other!!:loopy: Modern systems may be a million times faster, but they also have a million times the data to load, so in the end it's the same time to wait!
     
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  15. by M.D.Baker
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    I've gone to Atarimax forums to search for any info on using the Remote Control, i.e. instructions. There have been several things in the RC menu that I've never been able to figure out, besides some of the basics like mounting disk images, etc., there are choices in the window at the bottom that I've never used because I didn't understand what they were for exactly or how they work. There was absolutely no info on the forums or in any part of the 32-in-1 installation guide regarding it except pushing SELECT+OPTION on power up to get to it. So I have left a message asking for full instructions, hopefully I'll get a reply sooner than later. I'll keep checking back...
     
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  16. by Timothy Kline
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    ________ ________

    Same results as me, then, @M.D.Baker. So strange, considering how long this has been around. You must be the only person who ever used the feature!

    Definitely share anything more, and I'll be sure to do the same once I have time to search again, as well as actually use the feature.

    Since it sounds like it is part of the 32-in-1 OS, that kind of limits me to the 1200XL that I had purchased from Steve, and I'm not ready to do that— although if it's simply a matter of loading WarpOS+, couldn't I do that through the U1MB in one of its slots, and then utilize Remote Control?

    Thanks again, Matt!

    --Tim
     
  17. by Paul "Mclaneinc" Irvine
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    Cheers to Matt for the super detailed info re the Warp OS and the Hias hack.

    I think the 32 in 1 would be just overkill here, as said I have 3 slots on the Syscheck I can (and have) reprogram, at least 20 of the roms on the 32 in 1 would just be unused or very very rarely used. I don't program any more and have no wish to restart learning, my concentration is so limited by the idiot above and stress in general that I just don't have any get up and go.

    I have been having a bit of fun getting back in to doing soldering, just wish my hands were more steady, the arthritis makes it hard but the results are normally ok and the stuff works fine. In fact, time to chip a PSX...
     
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  18. by M.D.Baker
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    Well, I know if my 32-in-1 does end up being the culprit to my 1200XL woes I'll just be installing one of the 4-in-1 OS boards, upgraded by me to piggy-back 8-in-1 along with my Syscheck's 3 OS's (one of course it the Syscheck OS) and that will be enough for me. This is also the approach, as I told you before @Paul "Mclaneinc" Irvine , that I'd being going with the 1200XL I'm working on for you. I like the 32-in-1, it worked well for me for many years, but the flash chips it uses don't seem to last as long as eproms like the 4-in-1 uses. The 32-in-1 is $50, more for international customers anyway, and the 4-in-1 from Dropcheck, less eproms, is only $10.
     
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  19. by M.D.Baker
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    I can't say for sure Tim, but my educated guess is Remote Control is the 32nd OS that is not listed in the OS menu of the 32-in-1 and cannot be deleted or reprogrammed like the other 31 OS's. I don't believe it's possible that it fits inside the 16K Warp+ OS and it doesn't download from APE like the .xex menu loader does, so yeah, I think it's a 32-in-1 exclusive and the rom image for it is not available from Atarimax to program to any other programmable OS system like U1MB, 4-in-1's, Incognito or Syscheck 2.2.
     
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  20. by Paul "Mclaneinc" Irvine
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    PS, has a little dvd case arrived at your end Matt?
     
  21. by M.D.Baker
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    Not yet Paul, but I'll keep an eye out for it, have yet to check the post today...
     
  22. by Paul "Mclaneinc" Irvine
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    The old 32 in 1 has gone off my list, wrote to Steve T and another person replied saying to reprogram the card I needed an Atarimax programmers kit for 60 bucks and and a cart for 45.00 AND the 32 in 1.....
     
  23. by Paul "Mclaneinc" Irvine
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    Ha, just got an email from "corey" saying

    "Looks like it is meant for somebody invested in his platform of items"

    Bloody cheek...I'm balls deep into the Atari (no, not that way).

    Feel like I've been bitch slapped..
     
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  24. by Vyper68
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    ‘effin cheek of the guy
     
  25. by M.D.Baker
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    Still no reply from anyone on the comatose Atarimax forums...
     

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