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§ Altirra 1.4 released

Since things have come to a bit of a pause, I've pushed out a new release of Altirra, which is available on the Altirra main page. This version contains some major improvements to disk and sound emulation, as well as further tweaks to graphics and DMA timing for higher emulation accuracy.

Now available at that page is also the first main release of the Altirra Technical Reference Manual, which is a document containing everything I've learned about the Atari 8-bit hardware so far. It's also the first time I've tried to write a large document in OpenOffice Writer, with which I've had mixed success. I'd say OO.o Writer is definitely at the point where you can write good-sized documents in it, but not yet at the point where you can do a full book or professional-level PDFs with it. There are just too many restrictions in areas like PDF bookmark handling and outlining to make completely polished output. Nevertheless, the manual hasn't turned out too bad, and I hope it's useful to anyone still working on an 8-bit Atari or is interested in the details of how the hardware works.

A few people have reported problems with graphics output in this version with low-end integrated graphics cards. One reason for this is that, unlike VirtualDub, Altirra defaults to having the Direct3D9 display path enabled in order to gain hardware accelerated display of 8-bit data. Unfortunately, this path can be too demanding for really low-end GPUs. I need to figure out what's going on here because D3D9 is necessary for hardware accelerated display on Windows Vista and Windows 7 and I eventually want to switch the default in VirtualDub on those operating systems. In the meantime, if this happens to you, specify /ddraw or /gdi on the command line to force a lower display mode.


Comments posted:

thanks you, phaeron.
I hope that the development will not stop and the emulator will be add all sorts of interesting things.

breaker - 08 11 09 - 19:15

"OO.o Writer is definitely at the point where you can write good-sized documents in it"? I wonder how big your manual is! When I wrote my thesis on OOo in 2004 (version 1.1.2/3), it handled all 450 pages sweetly (with graphs etc. something that Word XP with all patches and SPs installed couldn't handle past page 34 without breaking all over the place - on the sixth corrupted copy of my thesis, I changed word processor, and haven't looked back since then) and the PDF output was PostScript-compliant enough that the university's printer handled it without a hitch (something that can't be said of every PDF printer out there).

Now, of course OOo Writer ain't a professional page layout tool: it's a professional grade word processor (a word processor is supposed to process text, not do layout; going past the basics is like saying that you do your web page layout with tables and FONT tags - awkward, heavy, not quite what you were expecting, limited and hell to support). I had links with professional printers; when I asked them, "do you have clients sending you .doc files for printing?" they all cringed, and answered: "yes, and we always have to re-do the layout from scratch."

If you want to do professional grade layout, have a look at Scribus: I find it ranks up there with Quark Xpress, and is a cut above Frontpage.

Latest versions of Scribus can import ODF documents; you should be able to process your text with OOo Writer (spellcheck, paragraph breaks, page breaks, footnotes, indexes, titles etc.), then do page layout with Scribus without too much trouble (Scribus also supports scripts, so you should be able to, say, create a script that loads your ODF file, process it, and update the output following changes you made to your manual in Writer).

Mitch 74 (link) - 08 11 09 - 19:50

I haven't had problems with Writer with regard to the amount of text, which is currently far less than your case. The problems I run into are more with entirely missing features, the most annoying one being that you can only have ONE outline style hierarchy for your entire document, which also determines your TOC and PDF bookmark hierarchy. That alone is crippling and was almost enough for me to go get Word. You also can't do run-in headings, or go to outline mode, or drag-and-drop in the outliner. The worst hack I had to do in my manual was use 2-point white headers in order to insert PDF bookmarks without having the bookmark text show up as readable. I also still had a problem where Writer decides to randomly insert or remove one line between tables on one particular page, and I have no idea why.

I tried Scribus a bit, but the #1 problem is that it's a page layout tool, which means you've got to re-setup your layout whenever the source text changes. That's not what I want to spend my time doing. Furthermore, the interface is not so good. They broke the #1 rule of Windows UIs, which is that you don't write your own frigging file dialog. I used to use Aldus PageMaker a long time ago, and it feels like that tool had a far more intuitive interface than that of Scribus.

Long story short, both of these tools do a lot and are great value considering that they're free and open source, but I feel like they've been over-hyped, especially in the "you don't need Acrobat anymore" department.

Phaeron - 09 11 09 - 03:20

I'm surprised no one has mentioned LaTeX yet. (I don't use it, but I also don't write large documents.) My brother-in-law did his entire doctoral thesis using LaTeX as a "compiler" and vi as his editor. (I think he's nuts.) But if I understand it correctly, it basically handles all of the "redo layout from scratch" for you, so if the text is radically altered and page numbers are affected, the document will still read correctly.

Naptastic - 09 11 09 - 15:04

Ah - of course, I use Scribus in Linux, where its Qt-based interface doesn't surprise me so much (it doesn't clash in KDE), and since it uses its own renderer for document previews, I guess using a Windows document picker wasn't exactly the easiest thing to do (I know that it was a separate project in OO.o, for example, and OO.o doesn't display a preview of the document). I also never used Acrobat: I learned page layout on Quark Xpress 4.5 on an old Mac - Scribus/Qt works a lot like it, and does indeed do pure page laoyout for printing - so it wouldn't actually help you create PDF documents.

About LaTeX: I'll admit it, I've never used it but heard it's the definite book mastering tool - extremely scriptable. However, it's not a WYSIWYG-friendly tool (not that I think there's anything wrong about WYSIWYM! On the contrary), and the matter at hand is what WYSIWYG tool would allow Phaeron to produce a manual, easily editable, that can be converted to a feature-full PDF file.

But, indeed, LaTeX would be the prefect tool to create an emulator's manual. Just not WYSIWYG.

Mitch 74 (link) - 09 11 09 - 21:53

oops - "prefect"=>perfect.

Personally, I find your manual not too shabby; you might want to add hyperlinks for external references, where available, or possible locations as footnotes. I would also recommend that you 1st-line-indent and justify your paragraphs - makes for easier reading. I would also recommend you use a different font family for code outputs (page 35 ain't too legible, for example) on top of/instead of colors (for color-blind people). A serif font would also make for more legible printed format (sans-serif is best for screen, but serif is best for paper).

Mitch 74 (link) - 09 11 09 - 22:06

Great release and interesting read.

I reported performance problems (on ultra low-end VIA Chrome9 DX10 GPU) in the beta thread.
Small update:
- DDraw and GDI modes are slower than the default one (D3D)
- Fullscreen (1280x800) w/ Bilinear filter is fine. Maximized window (1280x800) = unresponsive controls, stuttering. Point filtering is too "demanding" (100% CPU utilization, stuttering, unresponsive controls). Bicubic is even slower. Aero disabled & Aero enabled.

On GeForce6100 (lowest-end GForce DX9.0b onboard GPU) & single core A64 CPU underclocked to 800MHz, Altirra works fine at 1600x1050px. But 6100 is faster than GMA950 while Chrome9 is reported to be 50% slower than GMA950.

galu - 10 11 09 - 08:01

Any news on a beta?

Hardman - 21 11 09 - 04:20

Two weeks of silence :(

breaker - 21 11 09 - 13:48

Impatient, aren't we?

I spent some time rewriting the input system. For starters, the gamepad system now responds to device change events, so you don't have to restart the emulator if you add or remove a gamepad. Second, the new system allows a lot more flexibility. For instance, I have a PS2 gamepad hooked up for testing with X/O/R2 mapped to fire, Triangle mapped to the space bar, Square mapped to the Option key, and L1 mapped to turbo. You can also do 1:N and N:1 mappings, e.g. two buttons both mapped to Fire, or the mouse driving both paddles. There are two things missing at the moment, though: many cross-mappings between analog axes and digital buttons don't work, and you can't restrict an input map to an individual gamepad, so all gamepads are effectively merged. This should still be a lot more powerful than the previous system, though.

The best I can guess about the VIA Chrome9 is that it... well, sucks. What's probably happening is that it is so slow that vsync alone is causing performance problems. The way that vsync has to be done in windowed mode in Windows is pretty lame, and it stalls the GPU all the time, preventing it from running at full speed. I'll probably have to put in an option to disable it if it's running that poorly.

Phaeron - 22 11 09 - 10:33

well, I checked my gamepad - Saitek P2900 - works fine in the emulator.
but I'm a little disappointed with the appointment of other keys to the place of the joystick?
I do not mean the gamepad buttons while the keyboard, where the num pad?

Please add the appointment of the keyboard, the keyboard is not a lot of buttons on the gamepad.

breaker - 22 11 09 - 15:50

When playing Pitfall2 it sometimes goes really slow, any ideas why

hardmanm - 23 11 09 - 03:28

"The best I can guess about the VIA Chrome9 is that it... well, sucks. "
Unfortunately, it is integrated in the only VIA C7/Nano chipsets that are available currently, which are all made by VIA itself. Shame, since the VIA Nano is better than the Intel Atom. However, it has been reported that NVIDIA is planning a chipset for the VIA V4 FSB used by C7 and Nano that should have better graphics.

Yuhong Bao - 23 11 09 - 13:56

The emulator is great. You are doing a great job and keep well.

But I would like the tape recorder could handle as Atari800Win. See this picture for me to understand.

Excuse my English. Thank you very much.

NSonic - 25 11 09 - 09:40

UI: Added options for controlling display stretching and aspect ratio.
POKEY: Added volume control.

phaeron, thanks for the update. :)

breaker - 28 11 09 - 18:18

Tsk tsk... you shouldn't be pulling unannounced betas. You'll never know what you get. By the way, that version should have Numpad binding support.

I know that the tape recorder needs a seek UI... haven't gotten around to it.

I testd Pitfall II for a while and couldn't find anything wrong with it, although I was quite happy that I could actually finish the game this time. When I was growing up, I could never get to the second half of the level because I didn't know about the blasted weather balloon in that one spot, which is critical because otherwise there is no way to get to the rest of the level.

Phaeron - 28 11 09 - 21:31

ups, silent.
more will try not to announce new betah.
and that with Numpad, I chtoto not find where to put it.

I now think may be better to simply add the appointment of the keyboard for any of the four joysticks?
in the emulator atari800winplus 4.0 this menu is called "Keyset"

breaker - 28 11 09 - 22:13

Using this blog as the beta originated here (wish there was just one blog tho)

Hmmm...Having a serious issue here with the new Beta 1.

When I boot up Altirra it's not picking up my MS Xbox360 pad which is supported under Windows 7 with it's own MS driver. I've made sure I've selected gamepad port one and it's checkbox is ticked but the joystick does not respond. What I have noticed is that if I remove the pad from the USB port, wait a sec or two and then put it back in then it gets picked up by the emulator once Windows 7 picks up the pad.

The problem is that when I close Altirra and restart it I have to do the same process all along, it no longer see's the pad or picks it up until I plug and play it again.

I did try beta 2 just incase but it's the same story..

Was fine before the new joystick system.

Any help appreciated..

Mclane - 29 11 09 - 03:05

You have to enable the numpad binding or create/edit it into one via Input > Input Mappings > Edit.

I figured out what was causing joysticks to randomly drop out. Fixed version:

Phaeron - 29 11 09 - 09:51

phaeron, it is not funny.
where are you saw the appointment Numpad or keyboard?
here alone buttons for joysticks and gamepads.

Here is the appointment of the keyboard in the emulator atari800winplus 4.0

breaker - 29 11 09 - 15:45

> phaeron, it is not funny.

Take it easy, there's just a small mistake. The support actually is there, and it's in the default Numpad - Joystick (port 1) mapping that appears if you click Reset, but I forgot to add it to the Edit dialog so you could add it to new mappings. Fixed in this version:

Phaeron - 29 11 09 - 17:54

excellent work.
phaeron, many thanks, works fine.

small mistake:
1) sometimes selects several options for one port.

very much look forward to when we can choose any other keys, not only Numpad. :)

small request, please do so in order to control the settings saved in a file.
Then when changing new versions of the emulator, it will be enough to throw the file in the folder the emulator and the settings are already there.

and that the choice of another rom file?
For example, I threw in the emulator folder file REV03.rom, hit the button other, and the emulator shows me a picture, what am I doing wrong?

breaker - 29 11 09 - 18:32

Thanks for the gamepad fix, works a treat now...

Had a read of the but it does not mention the other OS command, I presume it's not implemented 100% as yet?

Thanks as always..

Mclane - 29 11 09 - 20:24

Thanks for the update!!!!

And rewind up the cassette is possible in the emulator?

NSonic - 29 11 09 - 21:48


The cassette side is one of the many things on Phaeron's to do list, don't worry, he has been asked about it in the near past. Timescale if at all unknown...

Mclane - 30 11 09 - 01:50

I think that you should not jump from one to another.
First let calmly finish control, and only then will cassette.

breaker - 30 11 09 - 02:04

Thanks for the replies.
But do not forget the cassette. : D Thanks

NSonic - 30 11 09 - 02:37

> I think that you should not jump from one to another. First let calmly finish control, and only then will cassette.

This isn't guaranteed, as my development strategy can best be summed up as "non-sequitur."

Phaeron - 30 11 09 - 16:08

> I think that you should not jump from one to another. First let calmly finish control, and only then will cassette.

>>This isn't guaranteed, as my development strategy can best be summed up as "non-sequitur."

ROTFL....Hopefully you don't use the old Q&D coding system from my quick and dirty as we called it :)

No remarks or any helpful coding :)

Mclane - 30 11 09 - 20:33

Have you tried LyX ( LyX uses Latex as it's backend so the output looks great but has a much friendlier user interface.

Phil - 02 12 09 - 13:11

What's up, Doc?

rabbit - 06 12 09 - 02:05

Adds cassette seeking, frame blending option to reduce flickering in demos, and P: redirection.

Phaeron - 09 12 09 - 18:01

Phaeron, thank you for adding the new settings.

pity that if you open a tab cassette tape control, emulator stops.
I hope this can be fixed?

Now I am waiting for select add any keys to control. :)

really want to ask more about adding speed controller emulator.
this is in the emulator Atari800winplus 4.0, a very good feature that allows you to speed up or slow down the emulator from 10 to 200%
can you add this?
shall be very grateful, the emulator is really getting better and better

breaker - 10 12 09 - 03:51

You already have a speed up option by holding F1 if that helps..

The slowmo is nice for capturing frames or animations..

Had an odd loss of sound last night, I left the emulator on for hours in an out of focus state, I'd been looking at the nice image blending feature on a slideshow but had to go and do other stuff, when I came back the emulator wasn't responding and I'd lost sound from any source.

I don't know if it was the emulator, Firefox also locked up, every thing was fine after a reboot...

No viruses or alike, may have just been a buggy driver...

Mclane - 10 12 09 - 19:38

Thank you very much!!!! for the tape control......... !!!!!
Now would be good if the recorded cassette. XD Sorry to bother much. Greetings

nsonic - 10 12 09 - 22:43

Thanks for the emulator!
My very first computer was the ATARI 800 XL, and like you, I'm somethimes struck by nostalgia. I think it's great that the ATARI lives on in your emulator.

By the way, the original ATARI ROMs (system) have been released into the public domain, as far as I know. If you can confirm, maybe you could use those.


ukimiku - 11 12 09 - 22:45

@Ukimiku, the emulator already uses them, if you want to run XL and OSA / OSB then you must have the roms unzipped into the root directory.

Named as followed


Mclane - 12 12 09 - 00:21

I am having difficulty with Ulysses and the Golden Fleece. It has 3 .atr files. I can Boot the first one but then it says insert side B and press return. I don't know what to do at this point to get the came to continue properly. Anyone know?

Bruce - 14 12 09 - 09:58

No problem Bruce..

4 ways to go here, all do the same...

Under file and drives you could just browse to disk 1 in drive 1, do the same for the 2nd disk into drive 2 and lastly the third disk into drive three and then goto to System/cold reset to boot and play the game..

Now this will work with most games but some may not like a 2nd drive or be hardcoded to look for the next disk in drive one.

For those use any one of the last 3 ways..

1. When it's time for you to insert disk 2, if it's an ATR you can just drag and drop the 2nd disk onto the Altirra window, if it's NOT an ATR don't use this method as it will reboot other disk types when dragged and dropped.

2. When its time for disk 2 then go to files/open image and browse to the next disk you want in and just carry on with the game.

3. When it's time for the next disk go to files/disk drives and browse to the next disk for drive one.

All these ways work but the two safest ways are load up all three disks as said in the first way or just use the open image way.

Mclane - 14 12 09 - 19:52

Thanks Mclane but all 4 of those ways yield the same results... A screen asks if a triangle appears blue. If it does not, press the Option key. It doesn't in my case so I press F4. The image on the screen disappears and that's it. Nothing after this point. Are you able to get it to work?

Bruce - 15 12 09 - 12:42

Aha...There are 3 versions of the game and one which is classed as the 'Online' version does not work.

Here's a link to my V2 version that DOES work..

Mclane - 15 12 09 - 21:29

Thanks Mclane! Your version works but it is all yellow regardless if I push F2 or F4 during the color check. Is that correct? Also, I did a file-quick save state. Where did it put the save file and how do I resume?

Bruce - 16 12 09 - 09:15

Bruce, Phaeron have not yet made a normal save, I also expect this option a long time.

Phaeron, will there still be issued a new beta?
soon end of the year we will see 1.5 final before 2010?

breaker - 16 12 09 - 18:32

Hi Bruce, I guess the triangle thing is a protection check that's been hacked out so don't worry about that.

As for the quick save, god knows where it's saved, I've looked hard but he has it well hidden. As for resuming, just load the disk in that you saved from ie if you were half way in using disk 2 then just put disk 2 in and go to quick load

Mclane - 16 12 09 - 21:53

Hi Mclane. The only reason I was asking about the yellow triangle is because the game play is yellow also. I seem to remember this game had true colors. Is it yellow when you play?

Bruce - 18 12 09 - 09:36

The problem with artifacted screens is that there's no exact true emulation of the colours you see, depending on the modulator tweaking etc. Phaeron will know the exact reasons.

The yellow seems to be a true colour, it happens with every version of the game and on every emulator. But I too seem to remember the screen being white so it may be a bad hack??

The other screen colours are best guess at the mo...

Mclane - 19 12 09 - 00:35

Just a slight update, I may have confused it with the C64 version, it seems to be the nearest to true colours as all versions of the game look different on each computer.

Goto hear to see what I mean

The problem with those screen shots is that we don't know if they are from emulators or actual hardware?

Mclane - 19 12 09 - 00:51

Thanks for that link. I think those shots must be from an emulator. I remember true colors and I only had the Atari. I also remember the triangle screen determined how to set the colors. Perhap this will be fixed in a future version. Thanks for all your help again!

Bruce - 19 12 09 - 03:28

Ulysses and the Golden Fleece is one of those games that uses alternating patterns in hi-res mode to create colors. This is known as artifacting. Most emulators don't enable it by default because doing so necessarily degrades hi-res displays; in Altirra, you can enable it via System > Video > NTSC artifacting. The colors are not quite correct, as the brown should actually be purple, but it's decent enough to play. I'm pretty sure the screenshots on the MobyGames site are from an emulator as there is no subtle color fringing on the text itself, only whole pixel fringing.

The reason for the triangle screen is to determine the phase of colors to output. Depending on whether you press OPTION or START, the game switches the phase of patterns that it uses and flips colors. It looks like for at least one of the versions, it's expecting a CTIA chip as the default; there is a 90' phase shift in output in the GTIA that would give brown/purple instead of blue. Most 800s and all 800XLs have the GTIA.

Phaeron - 19 12 09 - 10:01

This version includes major tweaks to the palette and to the artifacting code. The non-artifacted palette closely matches my NTSC 800XL and the artifacted palette is closer, although still not exact (there are nonlinearities that still elude me). PAL colors tend to be different and my 800XL may be a bit out of adjustment, though, so I've added an Adjust Colors option. This will allow you to adjust all of the parameters that are used to generate the palette. (I can't put in loading of palette tables because Altirra depends on knowing the luma/chroma separation for its artifacting.)

There are also some fixes to WSYNC timing, so there's a chance that something may break... although I did do a lot of testing on it.

As a side note, I managed to get 32 hues on a single scan line to test artifacting... but what an incredible pain that was.

Phaeron - 19 12 09 - 21:48

Thanks for that update as always, always appreciated :)

Now can we have the other 375,000 things we asked for by the end of the day ;)

Seriously, thanks and a happy holidays to you (depending on religious beliefs)

Mclane - 19 12 09 - 21:58

Thanks for update Phaeron :)

I think the palette has some incorrect.
I tried to customize the colors in the game "Boulder Dash" as on the emulator atari800winplus, I have failed. : (
but can not add support for *. act files?

hope before the end of the year will be more builds?

breaker - 19 12 09 - 23:07

Thanks for the info Phaeron. I have been trying to use the Quick Save State with Ulysses but I can't see to get it work. I have been trying to save a game and then exit altirra. Then restart altirra and load but it doesn't work. Does the save state only work if you do not cloase out of the game and altirra?

Bruce - 20 12 09 - 04:08

As I said before, I can't load .ACT files because they don't have enough information to do proper color processing. For a palette similar to Atari800, try these settings:

Hue start: -29
Hue step: 26.1
Brightness: -3%
Contrast: 88%
Saturation: 23%

Save states are never persisted to disk, only in memory. The current save format is not stable enough to do that.

Phaeron - 20 12 09 - 08:43

Yes, thanks again, phaeron.
so the colors look right.
but why the default put some wrong colors?
let those who want other color palette to adjust to your taste.
Please make the default palette as it was in previous versions.
or add the choice of several predefined palettes.

breaker - 20 12 09 - 15:35

WOW. Great improvements :)

I'd like to suggest adding an option to hide the tape loading motor animation, at least in full-screen mode.

galu - 21 12 09 - 04:31

Thanks for making this emulator, It's brilliant. If I could define my own joykeys it would be perfect as far as I'm concerned.

RAMpack - 21 12 09 - 11:55

WARNING: You will need to go to Input Mapping and RESET mappings for the keyboard-to-joystick mappings to work, because keyboard mapping IDs have changed.

- Default palette has been reverted back to previous colors
- Added new palette and Atari800-like palette as presets
- Added color palette image in Adjust Colors dialog
- Fixed a bug in artifacting engine that was causing some dark colors to desaturate
- Most keys are now mappable in the Input Manager.
- Minor speed optimizations.
- Overscan mode is now customizable.
- Added disk sector counter option.
- Cassette indicator has been rewritten to be less intrusive.

Phaeron - 21 12 09 - 19:29

phaeron, you direct as Santa Claus, such a magnificent gift for the new year:)

just a huge thank you for restoring normal palette for choosing the other keys in the configuration management and for the sector counter.

I was not able to understand where is "- Minor speed optimizations."
again forgotten to include setting? :)

once again thanks for the gift and all the upcoming holiday.

breaker - 21 12 09 - 21:49

oh, forgot.
Phaeron, please add another filter Scanlines.
long wanted to see the image with this filter.

breaker - 21 12 09 - 21:53

Give him a break Breaker :)

Phaeron, great updates as always, this is now simply the BEST atari 8bit emulator out there and it's still getting better. We all owe you a massive thanks!

Mclane - 21 12 09 - 22:27

Mclane, я знаю, но согласись phaeron ведь забыл добавить настройку скорости.

breaker - 21 12 09 - 22:58

ups, sorry :)

Mclane, I know, but agreed after phaeron forgot to add the setting speed.

breaker - 21 12 09 - 22:59

Hi Breaker, there is no option for the speed settings, he was just saying he had made changes that gave the emulator minor speed changes.

@Phaeron, one question....Am I daft (don't answer that) but how do you use the 'other' rom option, I even renamed it otheros.rom just in case?

Or by the term simulation does it not actually work as yet?


Mclane - 21 12 09 - 23:05

Mclane, just take any file *. rom, rename it to "otheros.rom" and the box in the emulator folder.
emu boot with another OS.

breaker - 21 12 09 - 23:51

Hi Breaker, what is the folder name it goes in please..

Mclane - 22 12 09 - 01:32

Mclane, a folder name?
Here, for example file "Rev04.rom" - XE Game System.
I renamed it "otheros.rom" and put it in the emulator, the same folder where the file is "Altirra.exe".
run the emulator, press "other" and all.

breaker - 22 12 09 - 03:12

The changelist entry didn't translate well. It's not that I added options to change speed, but that I rewrote part of the core to use less CPU.

Phaeron - 22 12 09 - 05:47

Just the smallest of requests for some distant time, can you either on the status bar or in the about say what beta or final it is

Mclane - 22 12 09 - 06:09

phaeron, I found a small mistake.
If the emulator to run any game and then change the sound to the stereo, the sound gets messed up.

yet I beg you, please add the following builds of the emulator filter scanlines.
I really love to play with such a filter, the image becomes better.

breaker - 22 12 09 - 06:15

Scanlines make the image look better? Ugh. Reminds me of my old Amiga monitor, where the phosphor dots were almost bigger than the pixels.

The sound cuts out when you flip the stereo setting because doing that resets both Pokey chips. I'm not sure it's worth fixing, because if you didn't set the stereo setting properly before launching a game that uses it, the chances of the sound working are zero (the second Pokey hasn't been initialized properly).

Phaeron - 22 12 09 - 08:35

phaeron, well, I don `t know, we obviously different perceptions about the quality of the image.
I love the picture closer to the real picture on the TV.
you saw filters in the emulator Stella 3.0?
there are very well made filters, and the effect of phosphorus I do in ecstasy, straight as if going back to the very eighties.

breaker - 22 12 09 - 15:57

Scanlines are ok when done with a visibility setting, set to just visible and it does look ok. Thanks for the overscan choice. As for the Amiga monitor, lol, yeah I remember them well...

Just a screen size and position setting save and I'll be a very happy chappy...

Cheers Phaeron, you are a star...

Mclane - 22 12 09 - 23:21

Thanks for posting the beta updates! I played Zybex and got further than ever :D The other emulators I tried had fatal flaws but this is great.

RAMpack - 23 12 09 - 06:19

thanks for the update, Phaeron:)
and you can tell what games on the atari use vbxe?

breaker - 24 12 09 - 02:10

There's a hacked version of Atari++ that supports the VBXE board but I think there are only a few demo's so far, I don't think there is a single full game as yet.

It is nice tho, very like the DTV for the C64...

Btw, Happy Xmas Breaker and all...

Mclane - 24 12 09 - 03:20

Mclane, Phaeron, and all thanks you.
Although we celebrating on Dec. 31:)

breaker - 24 12 09 - 04:51

There is a port of Jet Set Willy that uses VBXE that's much closer to the original Spectrum version than the crappy official port:

It's still hard as #$*&, though.

And yes, happy holidays. As for the date, the holidays don't officially start anyway until someone pours the drink of your choice into your cup....

Phaeron - 24 12 09 - 16:45

Phaeron, once again thanks for the update.
I am very grateful to you for the emulator now remembers the last inclusion drives and cartridges.
and for the support VBXE.

small request:

1) because the emulator remembers the inclusion of drives and cartridges, it would be nice to add a button to eject all.
eject separately uncomfortable.

2) I beg you, add a filter scanline.
it's just stripes on the screen.
or can be in the form of tiny hexagons, as on TV.

breaker - 24 12 09 - 21:06

Have I missed a beta?

Mclane - 24 12 09 - 21:52

Ack....I wondered where the VBXE talk was coming from...

Found it on Atariage......Are there any other places that I should look for beta releases? :)

Mclane - 24 12 09 - 22:07


breaker - 24 12 09 - 22:34

Ta Breaker had got it from the other forums already but thank you for the thought...

Mclane - 25 12 09 - 01:14

It would be nice if Altirra got an application icon for 1.5 or 2.0 release ;) Along with an option/wizard to associate its file types (as in WinUAE or in Atari800WinPLus).
I made temporary (quick&dirty) icons that I use with Altirra pinned to Win7 taskbar: (screenshot)

galu - 25 12 09 - 07:47

The VBXE stuff was a quick hack that snowballed. :)

As for the icon, I appreciate the thought, but I can't use any icons that resemble the Atari trademark, which is still very much in use.

Phaeron - 25 12 09 - 12:42

I too have long wanted to offer icon and file association for the emulator, but now I do not know how to draw.
personally I see icons for the files *. atr, *. xex, *. rom .... etc - In the form of a ring inside of which the Atari logo.
and for each file type the icon of a different color as in the emulator Atari800winplus.
and the icon for the emulator there is a bit more complicated, we must think of something more interesting.

breaker - 25 12 09 - 15:08

I just nicked the Atari800win plus icon and added it via Directory Opus...The best amiga made program out there...

Mclane - 25 12 09 - 21:09

phaeron, please add a button Eject all, clicking this button extracted all drives and cartridges from the emulator.

I found a small mistake, if eject the disc from the drive emulator and then make a reset, the emulator will always give you an error boot error!
reset when the error does not help, the emulator has to close and run again.

please do so, as in atari800winplus, when an error boot error!, after a few seconds should be reachable from the main BIOS screen.

breaker - 28 12 09 - 20:02

I think I see what you mean, the normal behaviour of ejecting a disk and resetting would then lead to the boot error message as the drive is still seen as being on, you want it to eject and turn the drive off before the reset?

Mclane - 28 12 09 - 22:39

McLain, if during the game to remove a disc game to work.
after reset will be an error "Error loading".
if the emulator atari800winplus again made a reset, the emulator enters the menu BIOS (if the test computer).
in the emulator altirra 1,5 test 15, after reset again written in the error "Error loading!, the emulator has to reboot, or insert another disc.

phaeron, add a button Eject all (removal of all disks, cassettes and cartridges at once).
and if it is not difficult, I beg, add a filter scanline.
Well, I thee entreat that, whether: (
Make a gift;)

breaker - 29 12 09 - 00:56

You can just untick the disk drive and reset again

Mclane - 29 12 09 - 02:19

so I also wrote about it, would be a mistake "boot error!"

breaker - 29 12 09 - 03:43

The Boot Image option already ejects all disks and cartridges before mounting a new image, if that's what you're looking for.

Current version, to spread the 8-bit love:

Doesn't really add anything for games, but a few minor fixes for things like H: disappearing after warm reset and added support for the R-Time 8 cartridge.

Phaeron - 29 12 09 - 10:53

I think Breaker want's to be able to eject all drives etc and take them offline so a reset goes to their memo or self test screen?

Not sure why?

Mclane - 30 12 09 - 03:01

I think, just think that Breaker means the drive is being set as the drive door open after a reset so gives a boot error unlike if the drive door was virtually shut where the emulator would then either boot a disc or go to memo / selft test if no disk was there.

Mclane - 30 12 09 - 04:18

Yes, Mclane, you're right.
desired button and implement it very simply, not to understand why Phaeron not want to make the emulator more convenient. : (
because if they are a bit floppy disks to pull out one would be very inconvenient.

this button for the extraction and the emulator is atari800winplus, called the "Detach disk all".

and what about the filter?

breaker - 30 12 09 - 17:15

Give the poor man a day off for Xmas and New year :)

Remember that he did say not to ask over and over for the same thing.

Mclane - 30 12 09 - 20:28

Happy new year all...

Phaeron, found a weird one, works on Win Plus but not on Altirra. I Think I've tried everything but it seems to be running but with no display, the space bar advances the slide show but although it seems to load the pictures you get no display>

Here's a link to the Atari Age thread..

Mclane - 01 01 10 - 06:23

Minor thing, I don't know what F8 is mapped to but it crashes the emulator, crtl and shift F8 work tho...

Mclane - 01 01 10 - 06:31

Mclane, I downloaded an image that you specified.
can help me write more in detail how to start with this demo disc?

and still something interesting about VBXE. there is a game for vbxe, but it is written in BASIC and has the extension *. bas
may make sense to add support later bas files.

I apologize for my boring, but I just could not resist, very interesting.

breaker - 01 01 10 - 07:01

See, that's why they're test releases. :)

I accidentally broke ANTIC vs. CPU banking in one of the recent updates to fix extended bank mapping. This version works:

The demo is very sensitive to palette, btw, so I'll have to try this on my real Atari when I get home. It's very prone to color inversion if the palette isn't juuuust right, which I'm guessing is due to clamping effects. The NTSC palette works better than the default palette.

As for F8, that's a synonym for "break into debugger."

Phaeron - 01 01 10 - 12:07

To start the 8-color 320x200 demo disc:
* File > Boot Image > select ATR
* System > Firmware > BASIC
* System > Disk > Burst (polled/SDX compatible) for faster disk load, since this is a SpartaDOS disk

Phaeron - 01 01 10 - 12:09

Thanks for the update again

F8 certainly breaks into something :)

I see yesterday was a very binary day...01 01 10

Mclane - 02 01 10 - 00:08

phaeron, two games do not work in the emulator

1) Dimension X DV - errors on the title screen.

2) AliBabaAndTheFortyThieves - the game does not work the keyboard.

it will ever been corrected?

breaker - 04 01 10 - 18:29


For Ali Baba to use the arrow keys you must make sure there are now inputs assigned to the arrow keys in port one or two, just set them to none, if you don't the you have to use a variety of different keys like - + * ^ etc to use as the real arrow keys as per the way the Atari is mapped..

As for Dimension X, what is the DV?

Tested all the others with no issues, under View select Overscan of Normal to lose any side garbage

Mclane - 04 01 10 - 21:06

Oops...NOW should have been NO in the first line

Mclane - 05 01 10 - 00:02

useless, what settings neither make a mistake all the remains.
Pay attention to the top of the screen.
in the emulator atari800winplus 4.0 this is no mistake.

breaker - 05 01 10 - 00:12

Useless..Not very pleasant :)

But yes, I do see what you mean, it's odd because different versions of the game are fine and 2 are not...

Mclane - 05 01 10 - 01:40

Mclane, sorry, I did not understand.
how to assign keys in the emulator to be able to play in the Ali Baba?
be more detail?
I have a translator on this occasion gave some nonsense.

breaker - 05 01 10 - 03:21

I set Ali Baba in XL mode the most important thing I did was to make sure nothing was set in INPUT MAPPINGS, no ticks in there. An make sure all Ports are set to NONE under INPUT.

Then when it loads and you press start the arrow keys on your PC should work

Mclane - 05 01 10 - 04:08

The first word in the above post should be "Would".

Bruce - 05 01 10 - 09:33

Would it be worth it to standardize the roms used with Altirra? I'm thinking something along the lines like MAME does. Each ROM has a checksum and the driver in Altirra will automatically select the correct options to run it. It's almost impossible for users to select all the correct options needed to run a ROM properly not to mention the version of the ROM they have might not even work. I know it will be a lot of work but is it worth thinking about moving in that direction as Altirra progresses?

Bruce - 05 01 10 - 12:32

"useless, what settings neither make a mistake all the remains."

Classic translator epic fail. :)

Even worse since I originally thought you meant the Atari Translator disc....

I've confirmed the problem with some versions of Dimension X and am looking into it. It looks like Altirra is allowing display list DMA to come on too late, when the trigger for ANTIC to do so should already have passed.

>Would it be worth it to standardize the roms used with Altirra? I'm thinking something along the lines like MAME does. Each ROM has a checksum and the driver in Altirra will automatically select the correct options to run it. It's almost impossible for users to select all the correct options needed to run a ROM properly not to mention the version of the ROM they have might not even work. I know it will be a lot of work but is it worth thinking about moving in that direction as Altirra progresses?

Don't call them ROMs unless they're cartridges. They're not ROMs unless they're burnt onto a little chip and aren't writable.

The main problem with trying to do some sort of checksum solution is that it assumes that a program only comes on one particular disk image and more importantly that there's only one program per disk. That's often not the case with megadisks.

Phaeron - 05 01 10 - 16:20

I take we are talking about the cartridge images?

I seem to remember lots of them have bad headers hence it's awkward to auto select their style of banked loading?

Databasing their CRC's might be an idea but it's a bit of work for someone and a bit unfair for Phaeron to be given that job. I think the way Atariwin handled them was better and left the user to make a manual choice for the stranger cart images.

@breaker, I know you use a translator and didn't take the comment seriously but I thought it was worthwhile letting you know in case someone does not realise you use one :)

Mclane - 05 01 10 - 18:59

It's not necessarily a bad idea, because there are definitely certain disk images I could seed the database with, especially common ones that are known to be broken for various reasons (bugs, or don't work on real hardware).

The situation with MAME is a bit different, though. Altirra is designed to emulate the Atari hardware, and it doesn't care what you run on it. MAME, however, has to have a matched firmware/hardware pair, as the arcade hardware is very frequently tailored for the specific game. Therefore, you get broken behavior if you run slightly modified or corrupt firmware on an emulated piece of hardware, and often there's only one image that's correct for a piece of hardware. 8-bit computers are also much better known and have standardized formats, and you don't have a stream of progressively more complete images as someone keeps finding hidden ROM chips and figures out which of the umpteen address and data lines were hooked up out of order. Between all of the emulators and all of the people out there with still functioning real machines, it's pretty easy to figure out if an Atari disk image is bogus or not, and thus the need for such a mechanism is much less. If you're a purist, there's also the issue of "breaking the emulator fourth wall" by having the emulator adapt to what it's running instead of just emulating the real hardware, which happily runs whatever garbage you feed it.

The funny part is when people ask if it's possible to recreate images from the image checksums....

Phaeron - 05 01 10 - 19:30

phaeron, I beg you, do not type your emulator MAME and MESS emulators.
do not add the base games.
I have always a negative attitude toward such emulators.
your emulator unique, I think it will soon overtake such monster as Atari800winplus and become the best.

breaker - 05 01 10 - 20:29

Unique databasing the disk images???

I'd prefer it as it is, you load the disk up, it may work, it may be a different version etc etc, most disks have now been tagged to show if they are bad images and what versions having a database of the crc's is excessive and not true to the real world.

I'd rather prefer the odd cart / rom images were supported with the correct mappers than the crc issue..

Mclane - 06 01 10 - 00:03

Mclane, our desires are the same;)
I have long talked about the cartridges does not run on the emulator.
good that you reminded me instead:)

breaker - 06 01 10 - 01:26

Save in to .CAS file. Not yet?

Thank for the emulator!!!

RockMan - 06 01 10 - 12:07

I'd rather have a proper save state,,

Mclane - 06 01 10 - 20:19

thanks for update Phaeron :)

breaker - 07 01 10 - 18:28

What are you doing, polling the directory? It couldn't have been more than 20 minutes since I uploaded that file.

Anyway, Dimension X should be fixed now.

Phaeron - 07 01 10 - 18:44

Yes, the game Dmension X DV now works without errors, I checked.

as soon as the new build of the emulator on your site I learned about this.
is my little secret.:)

breaker - 07 01 10 - 18:57

Yeah, he's polling the dir, I've done it myself...Naughty boy..Sequential (normally) update names make it easy :)

Mclane - 07 01 10 - 21:48

phaeron, these two games will not load on the emulator:

Bubble Bobble (demo,p2,v2)
Bubble Bobble (demo,p3)

and this game, Castle Wolfenstein.dcm, immediately terminates after the start of the game.

breaker - 08 01 10 - 18:47

Both Bubbles fail at what seems to be a decrunching, suspect illegal op code?

Wolfenstein same on Atariwin...Suspect bad disk..

Mclane - 08 01 10 - 21:17

Phaeron, which of correct aspect and square pictures actually displays the correct screen after manual resizing please?

Correct aspect sounds right but I'm drawn to square pixels as a pixel should be seen to be square on screen?

Mclane - 08 01 10 - 23:15

We already went over Bubble Bobble before: It does not work unless Atari800's SIO patch is enabled, since that emulator will accelerate SIOV calls even if the kernel ROM is banked out. This demo crashes when SIO patch is disabled because it trashes the SIO routine.

Castle Wolfenstein.dcm works fine, but you need the write mode set to VirtR/W since the game writes to the disk.

"Correct Aspect Ratio" is the setting that shows the Atari screen with the proper aspect ratio. PAL pixels are most square, but NTSC pixels most definitely aren't -- they're about 10% narrower.

Phaeron - 09 01 10 - 07:51

phaeron, before you and about the game "dimension x dv" saying that you do not know how to start.
but now the game works.
demos game "Bubble bobble" work fine in the emulator atari800winplus 4.0, then your emulator contains errors.

and, thanks for update Phaeron:)

breaker - 09 01 10 - 15:40

> demos game "Bubble bobble" work fine in the emulator atari800winplus 4.0, then your emulator contains errors.

Uh, no. I already explained to you why this happens, and it is not a bug in my emulator. Disable the SIO patch in Atari800WinPlus and watch it crash.

Phaeron - 09 01 10 - 16:21

well, let it not be considered a mistake, but...
you can plan to do so for this to work?

I was terribly interesting, but why in atari800winplus not need to stand for the drive "VirtR / W", it is that, once he determines how to load discs?
as there was this done?

breaker - 09 01 10 - 17:22

> well, let it not be considered a mistake, but... you can plan to do so for this to work?

Sorry, not very interested in this. This is essentially a case where the emulator is doing a bad thing, i.e. making something work that should crash like it does on the real hardware.

> I was terribly interesting, but why in atari800winplus not need to stand for the drive "VirtR / W", it is that, once he determines how to load discs?

Atari800WinPlus opens the disks R/W, unless you change the default. While this does work, it has the downside that it is actually changing the .atr file, and there is the possibility that your disk image can be destroyed. It also doesn't work if the .atr file is marked as "read only" in Windows or is on a CD-ROM, as in that case the emulator cannot write to the file.

Altirra's VirtR/W mode allows writes to the disk image but keeps the changes only in memory. This allows you to run software that needs to write to the disk without actually modifying the .atr file.

Phaeron - 09 01 10 - 19:19

Thanks for the aspect ratio answer, I'm a bit annoyed I forgot to try r/w on Wolfenstein, I normally try every setting just incase I can save you some checking.

Mclane - 09 01 10 - 19:56

sorry, but


breaker - 09 01 10 - 21:46

phaeron, could I ask you, please add a pause button, preferably by pressing the buttons "PAUSE".
I want it badly, and the option "pause when inactive" does not work in full screen.

breaker - 10 01 10 - 00:06

Breaker not being rude but the binaries that are not officially posted are sometimes work in progress which is why I stopped looking for them, also it may annoy Phaeron and of course you have no real idea what the beta has added of fixed.

Also I know you use a translator but you have to be careful how the wording turns out if you can, what may be a simple phrase to you can look quite rude or at least borderline rude. I say this because of the comment about the emulator containing mistakes.

I'm not trying to be hard on you but we always have to appreciate that this work is free and the end result is fantastic, we have to just pass on issues and let Phaeron make the choices because unless you want to download the source and make changes yourself we as users have no choice but to be grateful and polite..

Mclane - 10 01 10 - 03:34

I that someone else insulted?
that the translator is sometimes translated incorrectly, not my fault.
I demand nothing, I only make proposals that should be improved.

If you do not like it I will not provide links to the beta builds.
but this I must say Phaeron.

breaker - 10 01 10 - 04:42

Breaker, I'm not speaking on Phaerons behalf I just thought linking to builds that may not be finished before the author publishes them could be seen as a bit rude if you see what I mean, and as I said you have no idea what has changed in the build .

As I say it's just my opinion

If Phaeron thinks it's fine then that's great, I'm just trying to be polite to every one.

What I do like is when you publish a link from somewhere like AtariAge where Phaeron has put a build link up on there but not here, you putting that link in here is great and very helpful..

Mclane - 10 01 10 - 04:58


Question re the debugger, I know it's really only meant for your use mainly but regarding training a game, could the debugger be used for that as it stands.

I can't see any way to search for values thus for me making it rather hard to use to train a game, as you know the most simple trainer options are, search for a value, lose a life, search again or see if that value has changed then either lock it or stick a much larger number in that location or search for where affects that mem location and redo the code .

I'm not asking for new functions, just asking if the debugger can do that as it stands ie have I miss understood some of the options.

I can use things like cheat engine but of course it's not got any link to the way the atari code works...

Mclane - 10 01 10 - 05:06

I very much appreciate the work of Phaeron emulator, before my favorite emulator was Atari800winplus, I have used it since 2001, is now my favorite emulator altirra.
the author has now succeeded in this, what other lasted for many years.
I wonder how he still manages to update the virtual dub.

If you do not like that I spread references to beta emulator just tell me about it, I do not do it more.

I've had a terrific idea, I saw one thing on Spectrum emulator.
Can I hope that will be added ever been able to create action replay?
for Spectrum emulator for the files used *. RZX
if it is implemented then altirra will be the first atari emulator with the function of action replay.

and again, please add a button "pause" - a simple addition.

breaker - 10 01 10 - 05:32

Breaker, it's not I dislike you pointing to beta's but they really should only be to the one's that he has officially released on here or other forums and not ones that people cannot see yet..

I say it for 2 reasons..

1. It's his work and his to publish

2. In some cases it's unfinished hence he's not put it on the site.

What is good is when Phaeron has posted a link to a beta on Atari AGes forum and not here, then it's good for you to publish the link in here.

Mclane - 10 01 10 - 06:09

I don't really mind you finding and posting beta releases here, as long as you keep in mind that there may be unusual changes and something may be broken. I always welcome additional beta testing and both of you have definitely been very helpful in the past.

The pause key is already used for the Atari's Break function.

I could put in search functions into the debugger, sure. I don't know how well a simple search function would work for Atari games, though. At least on the 2600, games were prone to keep track of lives in the display memory itself, not in count form.

I'd shy away from doing a replay feature because input recording is VERY timing sensitive, and there are too many ways in which a simple emulation fix can invalidate replay files. Any difference, no matter how small, can completely break an input stream.

Phaeron - 10 01 10 - 07:05

Search functions would be great but not at the expense of more important issues..

Add it to the huge list of "a nice bit of eye candy after the rest is done"

Btw, what were the changes in beta 20 just out of interest?

Mclane - 11 01 10 - 02:06

hopefully something new ...
such support *. bas files, it would be great.
it ever been or will be made of all-just a dream?

breaker - 11 01 10 - 05:07

>bas support is a must, there are many games in this format that will not work in altirra

hardmanm - 12 01 10 - 04:53

phaeron, you put the records on the number of new beta versions of the emulator, have only Winuae catch up. :)))))
when will the final output 1.5?

pity that the *. bas files and did not add: (

breaker - 17 01 10 - 15:31

phaeron, I want to ask for a correction.
I have already informed about this.
if you eject the disc and from the virtual drive and make a reset, then:

1) emu altirra, always gives an error "boot error!"
Pressing reset does not help.
on the green screen does not go!
can only restart the emulator, or insert another disc.

2) emulator atari800winplus, when you click "cold reset" goes to green screen.
when you press "reset" goes to a blue screen with the words atari.

I took a small video showing the error.
sorry for video quality.

breaker - 17 01 10 - 17:27

This is working correctly.

In Altirra, you are ejecting the disk, but leaving the drive connected. The boot errors you are seeing are what you get when you try booting a real Atari with no disk in the drive. To disconnect the drive, you need to toggle System > Disk > Enabled. In Atari800WinPlus, the Detach All command also disconnects the drive.

Phaeron - 17 01 10 - 18:22

phaeron, thanks for the explanation.
I have never understood why this option is needed.

breaker - 17 01 10 - 18:35

Another request.
(I hope I'm not bothered).

Can you add then setting to adjust the speed of the emulator?

this setting is in the emulator atari800winplus, it is called "emulation speed"

can do as I show in the pictures.
either option, I would be very happy.

please, I have already asked you about it, but then the problems with the emulation was so much more.

breaker - 17 01 10 - 19:13

Breaker I presume you mean to slow it down?

Mclane - 17 01 10 - 19:39

Update taken from Atari Age to keep the site up to date:

I fixed the bug where the XDL parser didn't properly handle mode lines with XDLC_OVOFF set or with XDLC_TMON+XDLC_GMON=00 and also improved the XDL dumper:

Looked into the TEXTMODE.COM palette issue, and it turns out that happens because that program loads the laoo palette into the VBXE, which doesn't match the default GTIA palette. The laoo palette has a pretty steep grayscale ramp, which implies that there's a nonlinearity in the VBXE RGB output that I'm not accounting for. Doesn't look trivial to fix.

Mclane - 17 01 10 - 19:43

> Breaker I presume you mean to slow it down?

Yes, I would like to be able to slow down and speed up the emulator.
I do not think it would be difficult to implement.

in some games and Programs at this very useful feature.

breaker - 17 01 10 - 19:44

As you know you can speed the machine up by holding F1, I can see a use for slowing down by steps but not speeding up in steps?

Mclane - 17 01 10 - 23:44

>As you know you can speed the machine up by holding F1, I can see a use for slowing down by steps but not speeding up in steps?

holding the F1 key emulator is accelerated in full.
but if I want to increase the speed of 10 or 20 or 50%

in the emulator atari800winplus can accelerate and decelerate from 10 to 200%

breaker - 18 01 10 - 00:26

I can understand the slowing down to maybe a frame by frame to grab sprite animations but beyond that I have no idea what other uses there are?

Mclane - 18 01 10 - 01:32

Not only it is possible to apply delay to capture of shots.
In some especially fast games delay can be used as "cheat code".

slowdown can also be used for browsing the rapidly changing objects, pictures, animation.

I for example used acceleration for a rewinding of a caption unnecessary me, or in slowly working games.

acceleration and deceleration can be used for many other reasons, it is a very useful feature for emulation.

a lot of other emulators use these functions, such as:
Spectaculator (zx spectrum)
Winape (amstrad cpc)
Vb81Xur (zx81)

breaker - 18 01 10 - 02:05

@Phaeron...Thank you from 2 of us.

You put the version number in the top bar AND I love the current config also in the menu bar..

May be a small thing for some but it's dead handy...

Mclane - 18 01 10 - 04:59

Yes I also liked the status bar at the top of the screen:)

breaker - 18 01 10 - 05:07

Just plowing thru the emu for other changes and I saw the interlace option, I noticed the change it made to things like the 130XE Slide show ie static screens but noticed it looks rather bad on moving graphics.

So I presume it's not an item to leave on permanently, which begs the question what is it's use for you / us :)

Mclane - 18 01 10 - 05:23

Slowdown is not easy to implement due to synchronized sound. The PLL that controls audio/video sync tends to destabilize on speed changes, which is why you hear a little bit of warping after temporarily going to warp speed.

New version... not much for non-VBXE stuff, but I put it up here because I think it's time for a feature freeze for non-VBXE stuff. I fixed a couple of conflicting keyboard accelerators, such as Alt+D for the disk dialog (now Alt+Shift+D):

There are a few reasons that the interlace option exists. The first is that interlace detection is tricky and TV specific, so disabling this option prevents the emulator from emulating interlace where it shouldn't, which is important since the vast majority of software doesn't want interlace. The second reason is that interlace support slows down the emulator since twice as much data needs to be pushed to the graphics card. The third reason is that interlace mode changes the look of the display in filtered modes since the image is going through a 2:1 vertical upsample.

In previous test versions, the interlace option didn't attempt to do field detection and simply assumed alternating polarity. The effect was that any app that wasn't using interlace but was doing flickering would have the flicker turned into a scanline pattern. (A lot of modern LCD TVs actually do this too, but it's not desirable for the Atari.) The current version now does field detection and can tell if an app is doing interlacing, so it disables interlacing when appropriate. The downside is, as I said above, the emulator is still doing extra work to push 480 scanlines to the graphics card instead of 240.

Phaeron - 18 01 10 - 11:00

phaeron, I know that when slowing down or speeding up emulation of the sound will be distorted, so it should be.

I hope that this feature will be implemented in the emulator.
you left to finish is not so many different settings in order to get a perfect emulator.

breaker - 18 01 10 - 15:28

Thanks for the explanation, you see, we do look at your hard work...

You seem very committed to the VBXE which I think is a lovely add on, I presume you feel there will be a surge of support / enhancements?

The first time I saw the Mr Proper demo my jaw dropped, was this my poor old Atari doing this, it instantly took me back to 'the day'. We in England had a shrine to the Atari that was called The Silica Shop, it was the first proper Atari place in the UK before my ex company Maplin because an Atari dealer and how I landed into the Atari scene.

You would walk into Silica shop and it was just a barrage of wonderful sounds, galaxian, star raiders, miner 2049'er etc etc and Atari hardware everywhere, just imagine if they had seen Mr Proper in those days :)

Back to reality now, I doubt Breaker cares re sound, he just wants to slow down the pace of the game so it gives him a little edge so if sound was disabled he would not care I guess, as for the speeding up in steps, personally I see no use for it, the option to fast forward is already present.

The field detection is great, thank god for interlace screens that no longer suffer the marching ants syndrome...

Mclane - 18 01 10 - 20:41

altirra 1.5 test 23 will be the twenty third of January? )))))
how many more beta versions planned?

breaker - 21 01 10 - 18:04

Who cares :)

As long as it's being worked on and improved a version number will make no difference to me...

Mclane - 21 01 10 - 20:55

Altirra 1.5 final ..... right now!!! :D ..
Better prepare to get the 1.5 and earlier versions of 1.6. Record cassette. CAS???

nsonic - 23 01 10 - 13:00

phaeron, can I ask you to implement a debugger emulator one function.
is not for me, I talk with one of my other programmers, he became interested in your emulator and wants to look at the work antic.

his request

"We like to get new debug window, like "history cpu" for ANTIC chip.

1. Like console for step by step information about antic inter-operations.
2. Antic activity history for later reading and understanding."

I hope for your help.

breaker - 25 01 10 - 02:19

You may have a wait as Phaeron has a new project on the go, so that's 3 projects plus whatever else pays the bills.

Mclane - 26 01 10 - 03:15

Mclane, I hurry nobody.
I have only transferred the request of one person.
And I it will be necessary to wait how many.

breaker - 26 01 10 - 18:38

I didn't say you were hurrying him, just letting you know updates may be slow...

Mclane - 26 01 10 - 22:12

Phaeron, while it's quiet I don't see why you don't release this as the 1.5 final, there's a fantastic sum of changes from 1.4 final...

And then you could start beta's again as and when for 1.6?

Mclane - 27 01 10 - 04:52

Mclane, so what's the difference, let a hundred beta released only to the project was alive and developed. :))))

breaker - 27 01 10 - 05:11

@Breaker, it was more to keep the board ticking over :)

@Phaeron, a puzzle for your grey matter...

I got this file from the Atariage board, it's a demo of someones scroller code. When it's ran on Atari800win Plus it boots to Mydos and you load in runme.xex. But on Altirra it seems to try and boot but fails no matter what drive, ram, disk write or not or video settings.

When looked at via DOS and it in D2: it's like its a blank disk?

Mclane - 27 01 10 - 05:50

Lads, I think Phaerons done a runner, send out the dogs to find him ;)

Mclane - 28 01 10 - 20:05

and where Phaeron, to him nothing happened ?
few days for some reason, no longer visible.

breaker - 29 01 10 - 03:08

Perhaps you asked him for too much stuff ;)

Mclane - 29 01 10 - 03:59

Nah, just away on a trip. I'm not always connected to the Internet....

The scrolldemo ATR image is broken. Double density images use 256 byte sectors, but the exception is the first three sectors which are boot sectors and must always be 128 bytes. In this image, they are stored as full 256 byte sectors. Altirra currently doesn't handle this type of malformed image; you should be able to get it to boot if you delete the errant data (the latter 128 bytes of the first three 256 byte sectors, after skipping the 16 byte header).

There are a couple of fixes I've had to take in the 1.4 branch, so here's a release candidate:

First, there are a bunch of fixes to the UI docking code here, for bugs that were revealed after I tried adding a panel in an alternate branch. This version is more robust against trashed window layouts. Second, I had to back out one of the changes to enable a couple of VAPI images to load with SIO acceleration -- it was an attempt to make timing checks work, but it turned out to break the clock in a particular program.

Anyway, here's the deal: try the RC version and give me a thumbs up or thumbs down. If it looks good and doesn't have known regressions, I'll release it as 1.5 final.

Phaeron - 30 01 10 - 10:36

phaeron, everything works fine, mistakes with the interface is not noticed.
may add to the final release of the icon for the emulator?

and many thanks to you that you are doing this work and put the world's best emulator of Atari.
good luck.

breaker - 30 01 10 - 16:17

@Phaeron, found a small issue....Don't know if it's new or not..

If I use boot image and load the XE cart of Choplifter the screen is corrupted and does odd stuff..

If I load it as a cart it boots fine although seems to drop down the screen somewhat but that could be just one of the filters I use.

I can load most carts by boot image as it accepts them as a known type but seems to load some incorrectly..

Mclane - 30 01 10 - 21:05

Ignore....Had OSB selected in XL mode by accident compounded by another not being detached.. :)

Mclane - 30 01 10 - 21:13

Here's an idea Phaeron, I'll just pop on the flak jacket first tho..

Could full screen have a choice of resolutions and refresh rate, would aid in smooth scrolling loads..

My monitor runs at 1280 x 1024 but the highest refresh is 85Hz and the lowest is 60Hz which puts the PAL stuff wrongly. I like the window size I use so would hate to drop it down in size to get the refresh..

Mclane - 31 01 10 - 05:23

There are internal API issues with doing full-screen mode selection having to do with display path autoswitching... but even that aside, I'm not sure that 50Hz is a commonly available refresh rate for video card setups. My laptop, for instance, only shows 60Hz even though it can actually run at 50Hz if the "power saving" option is enabled. If 50Hz refresh isn't possible, then only two alternatives are left: use 100Hz (not commonly available), or interpolate.

Phaeron - 31 01 10 - 08:29

Forgot to comment on the icon -- I still don't have one I can use, nor do I have an idea to draw one. As I said earlier, I cannot use any icon that includes or resembles the trademarked Atari logo.

Phaeron - 31 01 10 - 08:32

Phaeron, Mclane, this picture can serve as icon?
ask me not to curse, I'm bad draw.
but can someone of you can draw in ASCII art?
I think this is a good idea.

breaker - 31 01 10 - 17:58

Hi Phaeron, thanks for the reply..

I *was* going to suggest (before you replied) 100Hz and 120Hz as I'd seen them on most cards at lower resolutions, the highest res mine gets 100Hz & 120Hz is at 1024 x 768 which won't be much good for LCD I think?

I bow to your very obvious Video knowledge, twas just a thought to aid in a smoother picture..

Dropped my monitor to a lower res to get the 100Hz so I am able to get it, was like the 1st time I dropped my PC back to 640 x 480 from 800 x 600 in the old days, it all looks soo big :)

Mclane - 31 01 10 - 20:02

Breaker, you would not be able to see the icon properly like that, it would be unreadable and squashed badly especially as the icon must be in a square format to start out with..

Mclane - 31 01 10 - 20:04

wow, phaeron, 1.5 final и 1.6 test 1.
удивительно, когда ты успеваешь их делать.

may be it is time for another page to discuss the emulator?

breaker - 31 01 10 - 20:05

@Phaeron, small possible feature request.

Love the status bar as I'd said before, how hard would it be to add whether basic is enabled to it?

It just gives every info bar that and when beta testing games it would be a nice visual tool.?

Mclane - 31 01 10 - 22:26

Phaeron are working like mad.
Those working on the 1.6, I see many asking you lots of things and also I'd like to lose something to the emulator. It is possible to record in CAS format.???

Thank you very much.!
Sorry for my English.

nsonic - 01 02 10 - 01:07

@Altirra icons.

WinUAE is a good example of slick application icon and slick icon for associated files (disk images, configs):

I'll try to look for high resolution GPLed icons with stuff such as 5,25 disk, compact cassette. Maybe I'll find a 800XL case that could be used as Altirra main icon. I'll post some info soon, maybe tommorow.

Today, I'm going to test drive the latest build of Altirra :)

galu - 01 02 10 - 08:42

phaeron, small possible feature request.
please do so in the window the mouse pointer disappeared from the screen.

breaker - 01 02 10 - 15:48

I meant to post about the 1.5 release, but didn't get to it yesterday.

High resolution is actually the OPPOSITE of what is required for an icon. Icons need to be highly recognizable at very small resolutions, specifically 16x16 and 32x32. In addition, they need at a minimum to have a 256 color (8-bit) version, and preferably a 16 color (4-bit) version as well. Icons are hard....

BASIC in status bar is easy... just forgot.

CAS writing is, honestly, something I don't have a lot of interest in right now, especially given the work involved. I'd probably need to rewrite the cassette emulator to be more flexible.

Phaeron - 01 02 10 - 17:15

> I'm leaning on the safe side as I write Altirra, doing things like writing the replacement LLE/HLE kernels that allow software to be run without the Atari ROM images.

phaeron, or not to use ROM images to emulate Atari's the choice everyone makes himself.
I very much hope that in future it will be possible to use the images of ROM in the emulator, I hope will be a choice between the HLE, LLE, and the fact that there is now.

breaker - 01 02 10 - 18:40

Er, I think something got lost in translation.

I don't have any intention of making it impossible or difficult to use ROM images. I just want to improve how well it works without them.

Phaeron - 01 02 10 - 18:48

phaeron, I was afraid that you will remove most BIOSes support for atari.

breaker - 01 02 10 - 18:56

Re the BAS, thank you..Appreciated..

Mclane - 01 02 10 - 22:24

The new build (1.6) works perfect. The only feature I miss is an option to save a state to file.

By the way, an unofficial build of Atari800 has been released recently, with much improved CAS support. Currently it even supports saving to a CAS file and has preliminary support for Turbo formats, and the new CAS format is now being discussed so hopefully all these features will be incorporated to Altirra, which is better emulator than Atari800 ;)

I'd like to suggest an option to automatically associate filetypes (as in WinUAE or Atari800WinPLus) and an option to manually change the icons for each filetype (.CAS, .XEX, .ATR etc.). Sometimes it's nice to have a high-resolution icons, especially that Win2K-era (48x48px or so, 256 colors) ones won't look good on most Vista/Win7 desktops.

WinUAE and DosBOX come with icons of various sizes: . And these floppy disk icons in WinUAE are also really nice - something like that (but in "vectorized" quality) probably would fit for Altirra

If use of ATARI "fuji" sign is prohibitted/inadvisable, I'd like to suggest that something Atari-specific should be taken instead - like the famous "Atari rainbow effect" or ALTIRRA name written as a string in ATARI BASIC. The icon still can be changed under file properties (unlike file association icons!).

galu - 02 02 10 - 03:40

Possible bug, no hardware to test it on..

Aztec Challenge version 2 or otherwise know as the 1983 version...

When the man starts to run after START is pressed, are the words Phase and High score meant to bounce all over the place?

Looks wrong and does not do it on Win Plus..


Mclane - 02 02 10 - 04:25

Phaeron apology for bothering with the theme of the cassette., Maybe should be a lot of work with the theme of the cassette, but I assure you that many would appreciate the memories that have the cassette.

Sorry for the inconvenience.
Sorry for my English.

nsonic - 02 02 10 - 09:42

thanks for vsync

breaker - 03 02 10 - 18:39

phaeron, small possible feature request.
please do so in the window the mouse pointer disappeared from the screen.
and add hotkey for quicksave & quickload.

breaker - 03 02 10 - 18:57

I'd wait for a proper save state to be added Breaker, the one that's on is more of a debug tool as it's only saved to memory hence lost after PC power down..

Mclane - 03 02 10 - 21:47

Mclane, Phaeron can leave a quick save and add normal save states.

breaker - 04 02 10 - 00:57

Yes of course, wasn't suggesting he remove them but just saying unless you are debugging they don't mean much to a gamer...

Don't worry, I am no different than you, I want all the nice bits on it and I would love it today but we are in the hands of Lord Phaeron, the keeper of Altirra and unless we lock him in a cell we have to wait :)

Actually that lock him in a cell Idea sounds good, quick people grab him before he gets away ;)

Mclane - 04 02 10 - 01:54

I now just do not understand why he found this in these debuger, this is for programmers only, and most users just use the emulator.

breaker - 04 02 10 - 02:09

I like the debugger personally and wish it had a few extra commands BUT with any emulator there's normally a debugger built in simply for the writer to work out bugs in the emulator, it's the normal way to work but in some cases the emulator writer hides the debugger so all you see is the gaming side. With the debugger Phaeron can quickly track issues simply with a key press rather than having to go through his source code like in the very old days :)

Mclane - 04 02 10 - 04:02

thanks for updade, Phaeron ;)

breaker - 08 02 10 - 19:19

Re Aztec error, just incase you didn't have the file..

Start the game and you will see the bouncing text, I'm sure that's not right..

Mclane - 09 02 10 - 01:03

Phaeron, Mclane, to me have transferred 3 games from a turbo loading, but I cannot load them on the emulator in any way, there is no loader program.
Can you know as it is possible to load such records?

breaker - 09 02 10 - 05:04

This is one for Phaeron, it just looks like streamed data to me?

They were games?

Mclane - 09 02 10 - 20:59

I was told there games COLOSSUS, BLUE MAX and one, don `t know the name.
I understand their need to load a turbo 2000 or something like that.

breaker - 09 02 10 - 21:13

I don't know if they are viable tape images or not..

Mclane - 09 02 10 - 23:55


I'm currently writing a Gamebase GEMUS script to start games with Altirra from the Gamebase frontend.
When writing this script, I ran into a problem, which seems to be a bug in Altirra (please correct me if I'm wrong).
The problem is with the command line options /kernel and /memsize.
Whatever I specify for these switches, I always get an error message
Command line error: Invalid kernel mode"
or Command line error: Invalid memory mode"
Example: Altirra /memsize:48K should work according to the /? screen, but I get the error message above.

There also seems to be a switch /hardware: (found in the source code), which isn't documented in the /? screen.

K.C. - 15 02 10 - 03:17

Yep, confirmed...

I can't even find a dialog box for command lines so I guess it was unhooked..

Is this for Mike's GB?

Hopefully the Atari basic injector I sent him has helped..

Mclane - 15 02 10 - 03:59

Its Mark not mike lol, I can't get the basic injector working, could you send me the instructions again, and the template.

hardmanm - 15 02 10 - 07:06

altirra 1.6 test 4 and all discussions tolerated here.

breaker - 15 02 10 - 15:14

Sorry Mark, elderly moment..

I'll sort out the Bas thing but do me a favour, send me and email to remind me to as I lost my email contacts...

Mclane - 16 02 10 - 00:16

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