Atarimania News

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Re: Atarimania News

Postby Marakatti » Fri May 22, 2015 7:42 pm

Thank you again :) Unfortunately I haven't got much free time lately for any Atari related stuff but hopefully the situation gets better in coming weeks.
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Re: Atarimania News

Postby kodak80 » Tue May 26, 2015 12:56 pm

I am just wondering when my login on the Atarimania forum will get activated? I registered some time ago.
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Re: Atarimania News

Postby atarimania » Wed May 27, 2015 9:22 pm

I just checked and it seems already activated, could you check please?

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Re: Atarimania News

Postby kodak80 » Wed May 27, 2015 10:40 pm

Yes, it is now letting me log in. Thank you.
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Re: Atarimania News

Postby Marakatti » Fri Jun 12, 2015 8:01 am

Updated the Missing pasti list finally. It's based on news releases from beginning of 2014.

http://www.atarimania.com/atari_forum/v ... 066#p33066

Also working hard on Jaguar database at the moment :)
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Re: Atarimania News

Postby kodak80 » Fri Jun 12, 2015 3:01 pm

I have uploaded STX images for the following games which were listed in the missing list to the Atarimania FTP server. The files are under kodak80 folder in a folder called 20150605:
    Fallen Angel
    Erik
    Cave Mania
    Academy Tau Ceti II
    Asterix - Operation Getafix

There also some Utility STX images in the same folder for:
    That's Write v1.51
    Word Up v2
    Protext v4.37
    Mini Office - Spreadsheet Professional
    G+Plus v1.5
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Re: Atarimania News

Postby Marakatti » Fri Jul 24, 2015 8:48 am

Hi all,

Unfortunately I have to take a break from Atarimania activities due to a family reasons. This concerns my work at Atarimania ST and the almost finished Jaguar database.

Our younger daughter starts preschool soon and older her second grade. As i'm doing mainly evening and weekend shifts at work, this means there is basically no free time for any sort of hobby. :( :shrug:

My apologies to all contributors and fans of Atarimania ST, but can't really help the situation right now. Hoping to be back in action as soon as possible and hopefully other Atarimania ST members will be able to help with your questions.

Thanks,
Marko
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Re: Atarimania News

Postby Maartau » Mon Jul 27, 2015 5:59 am

And you'll find us again when back :thumbs:
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Re: Atarimania News

Postby AtariCrypt » Mon Jul 27, 2015 7:47 am

Good luck with all that family stuff Marko. We'll be here when you're back. :)
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Re: Atarimania News

Postby Marakatti » Fri Aug 07, 2015 12:13 pm

I know :) Such a great community :cheers:
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Re: Atarimania News

Postby KLund1 » Wed Aug 12, 2015 6:23 am

I would hope that there is someone you could offload some of your responsibilities too. It would be UNhelpful for your efforts to become stagnate for a few years.
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Re: Atarimania News

Postby Marakatti » Wed Aug 12, 2015 4:25 pm

Stefan jL and Champions_2002 are also members of ST section so i'm not alone here thank god :) And Franck works for all the sections. It is way too much for one person to handle.

If we could have around seven to ten members the development time for database would be a much faster. But the Atari community is small and most active people want to do things their own way. For example the demos and util sections are not moving anywhere because lack of resources. And there were times when people sent so much submissions that we had no resources to build and correct the games database at all.

It is very hard and time consuming hobby.
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Re: Atarimania News

Postby lotek_style » Wed Aug 12, 2015 5:47 pm

Import the demozoo stuff :) We have an API :)
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Re: Atarimania News

Postby Marakatti » Thu Aug 20, 2015 6:16 am

lotek_style wrote:Import the demozoo stuff :) We have an API :)

A very tempting offer as we miss most if the 'new' stuff :) Franck is the only one who could do this importing. We've done something similar with Atari Legend a few years ago with their PD games. Although the work is still not ready as it takes forever to fix stuff to be fully compatible...
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Re: Atarimania News

Postby Marakatti » Thu Aug 20, 2015 6:22 am

There are some new info on two lost games. Graphist Alan Tomkins joined the Atari ST facebook group lately with some nice unreleased graphics. If you're using facebook please join the conversation :)

People with no facebook, there's some info about the games (i know i should be on break but can't keep my hands out when this kind of things happen :lol: )

Out Run Europa (earlier version which was a different game)
http://www.atarimania.com/game-atari-st ... 30270.html

The Armada
http://www.atarimania.com/game-atari-st ... 30271.html
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Re: Atarimania News

Postby ST Graveyard » Fri Aug 21, 2015 8:34 am

Marakatti wrote:
lotek_style wrote:Import the demozoo stuff :) We have an API :)

A very tempting offer as we miss most if the 'new' stuff :) Franck is the only one who could do this importing. We've done something similar with Atari Legend a few years ago with their PD games. Although the work is still not ready as it takes forever to fix stuff to be fully compatible...


Links/API between different projects within the scene, is something I've been thinking about a lot, and is the key to survival imo. I'm working again on AtariLegend and would gladly help out in the future and vice versa ...
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Re: Atarimania News

Postby Marakatti » Fri Aug 21, 2015 10:47 am

I agree fully :) In the end of the day we all are on the same mission and helping each other leaves even better Atari legacy for future generations :cheers:
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Re: Atarimania News

Postby lotek_style » Sat Aug 22, 2015 10:18 am

StGraveyard: WORD. The problem of the past in the atari scene was imho that everybody was cooking his own soup. Preservation should not be about fame.
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Re: Atarimania News

Postby AtariZoll » Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:08 am

Good point Lotek_style . Things are now better, I think, although far from ideal.
Maybe this is not best place for some general preservation discussion, but there is no such section here in forum, and Atarimania is still most active site in that matter, so I will say some things, probably not for first time.
We all agree about need for preservation, but not in what is best way for that, and what ways to follow.
Some claim that only faithful copies of original are worth of deal, what resulted in

Pasti project and partial solution (emulators only), and it is not finished, some protections are still not supported, or not properly imaged. There was branch of writeable to floppy solutions, with specialised HW (Catweasel ?), but it never spread, and as I know writing of STX images to floppies was not solved really.

Few years ago 2 floppy imaging/copy projects started, using new approach, what I would call: image entire floppy in detail. Of course, copy protections were what dictated need for large images (going up to some 50 MB per floppy) . This is still work in progress, but already much more advanced and covering more of protections than Pasti. Only way for those who want to run exact copies of originals from floppy drive on real HW .

Third way, what is of course not real preservation is using cracks. It is still very popular, despite possible bad cracks, corrupted images and overall mess with them.

And fourth way, what I prefer is transferring it to mass storage, what includes copy protection removal - as we don't want any floppy access.

Every approach (way) has it's good and bad sides.
Pasti is good because all you need is Atari ST(E) in good shape for imaging originals. Image sizes are small in compare to other, prot. imagings.
Support in emulators is however limited - only Steem, and soon Hatari (but without org. specs, sources). Very limited HW floppy emulator support. And it seems that we will not see much improvements with it. There may be some hacks for some protections supported, and that would be all, I guess.

SCP and Kryoflux is still under development, and HW floppy emulation support is much better as I know, than in case of Pasti . Downside is that Kryoflux is not for spreading images from some obscure copyright reasons, need for special equipment, and of course worst thing: floppy drives and disks - which are now really troublesome, and it will just be worse and worse.

Cracks are result in many cases as challenge, and to show that "I can do it", and of course as way to earn some money, although it is not popular to say now. Maybe crackers self did not make money, but there were sellers in big number, who cared only about money. Bad side is risk that crack is bad, incomplete, corrupted. Some original txt. or graphic may be replaced by cracker/pirate crap - what automatically discards it as preservation even by minimal standards. Packing is used a lot, what resulted in many cases in slow loading because slow depackers. But, and as good side there is almost everything available in that form. So, titles not available in true preservation formats. Some may like that multiple games fit on 1 floppy, but I think that today it matters not much.

Hard disk way: it requires more work than cracking, and there is more risk that it may have problems on some configs, or problems on later levels. But usage is most comfortable - no need for floppy/image swaps , loading is faster, and there is often snapshot function to save progress at any time.

Reliability of above ways: truth is that none is 100% reliable . Pasti problems are now pretty well known, others are work in progress, so may expect that all protections will be resolved. But Pasti has big advantage in number of titles imaged, and question is how much will be imaged in advanced formats in remaining ~10 years - after what, I think, imaging will be almost impossible.
And that leads us to problems with originals self: there are bugs in games, TOS version problems and similar. Some bad releases with corrupted files. Like Iron Lord, Tetra Quest . Hard disk adaptations may be with fixed such problems + made to work on Falcon, TT .

So, I think that anyone's taste can be satisfied, and that things go better gradually (except condition of floppies) .
What we really lack is some overview about all this, and database with user experiences about specific releases.
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Re: Atarimania News

Postby ST Graveyard » Sat Aug 22, 2015 10:38 pm

Well, I'm not gonna go into the preservation topic, I know too little about it ...

But the way I see it ... The big DB driven ST sites ...
I guess it all started with Little Green Desktop at the end of the 90's. It got a major overhaul around 2002? Afterwards it was never updated. (I still love that site). Than I guess came AtariLegend around 2004. But by 2006 I was completely burnt out (the other dev also). The 'legends of the past' project looked promissing, but also too much work. And now we have AtariMania. Awesome site...

But we all get tired, we all get kids, wife, job ... And this hobby is a lot of work.

But there is one thing that will always be an issue ... pride :-) The need to do stuff yourself. We have been working way too hard on AL in the past to throw it all away.

So working with API's or interfaces between mutual subjects from one site to another, is the best of both worlds. This way, when you wanna take a break, the site can still get new content ...

Just my 2 cents ...

That demozoo api ... now that is something that I would really like to use one day ... If we ever get this project finished ... again ;-)
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Re: Atarimania News

Postby lotek_style » Sun Aug 23, 2015 12:46 pm

ST Graveyard: You should get in touch with GASMAN (http://demozoo.org/sceners/5879/) who is the siteowner and (only) developer of demozoo.
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Re: Atarimania News

Postby ST Graveyard » Sun Aug 23, 2015 9:17 pm

When the time is ready, I will. Thanks for the info.
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Re: Atarimania News

Postby Marakatti » Mon Aug 24, 2015 3:02 pm

ST Graveyard wrote:
But there is one thing that will always be an issue ... pride :-) The need to do stuff yourself. We have been working way too hard on AL in the past to throw it all away.)

For me it was never either pride to do things myself or to do it to be "famous". I've witnessed many projects which start at full throttle. But after a few months people realise how much work, time and dedication it needs to keep things rolling and it's easy to quit.
I did and still do it for fun and to learn new things about ST software and most importantly to preserve the ST-history.

When i decided to jump in the Atarimania wagon after Guardians of the PaST was going nowhere, it was mostly because there was no active ST projects left. I've always admired and respected Hall of Light on Amiga a lot. Somehow after Guardians i thought Atarimania could be the closest thing to that as there was and still is an active coder for the site. Franck has done some amazing things over the years.

I've been also close to burn out several times with Atarimania. In worst times it has been one or two members against over 5000 titles and thousands of files that need processing, checking, retouching, packing, researching and so on. And every week there was one hundred files more. Add kids, family and job to that... I sometimes locked myself into my computer room for 12 hours and tried to do as much as i could to get things on the site faster.
It's not the worlds most easiest thing to do without going insane from time to time...

But after taking a breath there's just that "something" that drives the flame on time after time. And having well over 50 different people contributing stuff in all these years has shown that there clearly is a huge demand for database like that. Couldn't never been able to go this far without all these great people and other Atarimania members.

But either Atarimania or Atari Legend are not even close to perfect yet. There's so much data waiting corrections and so much things that still are waiting to be found. Probably one reason why in the end it's a most demanding and interesting hobby in the world. Only thing that i've lost interest in is the Pasti as it clearly wasn't the ultimate weapon for preservation after all. There's just no way to be 100 sure that the images are correct. So i rather use my time trying to do a most error-free ST database, altough even that goal is still years away from being reality...

So now i probably scared away everyone who was thinking of joining either of these fine projects. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Re: Atarimania News

Postby AtariZoll » Mon Aug 24, 2015 3:34 pm

Thanx Marakatti for sharing your experiences and thoughts.
I feel need only to argue a bit about Pasti format and around it: I don't think that there is no way to be sure about 100% correctness of those images. Actually, I use them a lot (thanx to Atarimania in first place, ah well: and to Jorge Zwick :D ) and I can say that most of them, or in numbers some 98-99% is flawless. Protections can be traced in debugger, and with playing game thoroughly possible delayed ones will activate. Many of them is really tested in those ways, even if not directly, but derivates based on STX images are tested very well. I see as biggest flaw of Pasti project problems around writing images on real floppies and problems with usage with HW floppy emulators.
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Re: Atarimania News

Postby Melies » Tue Sep 01, 2015 7:31 pm

Good sumary of the different solutions by AtariZoll. :wink:

Unfortunately, I can only speak from a user perspective, but coming from the real hardware, then emulators and now a "hardware emulator" (the MIST), one of the most comfortable way of playing my old games is the hard drive adaptations (as I tried to avoid the cracked versions when possible). It will eventually lead me to rediscover my original hardware, but this time paired with an UltraSatan or a CosmoEX. I still have quite some original games in their boxes, but the floppies are becoming less and less reliable.

I have admiration for all the contributors who are trying to preserve as much as possible the ST legacy, and as said by Pera, all solutions have their advantages and drawbacks.
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