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Show HN: 8bitworkshop IDE for Atari 2600 (8bitworkshop.com)
289 points by sehugg on Dec 25, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 36 comments

Enjoying the attention this is getting! It's been fun making it and learning the VCS tricks of the trade.

I'd like to credit a couple of projects that it depends on, Javatari by Paulo Augusto Peccin (http://javatari.org/) and DASM by Peter King and others (http://www.macs.hw.ac.uk/~pjbk/scholar/dasm.html). Oh yeah and Codemirror (https://codemirror.net/).

This is the kind of project that makes visiting HN worthy. Im going to spend some good time with it during the nexr few days.

Hi, I'm Paulo, author of the Javatari emulator. Very nice project! (clap)

Please, when possible, update to the latest version (0.92), and always check for updates.

A "Powered by Javatari" crediting on your page with a link to the emulator website would also be great! ;-)

Really, that's an amazing project!! I've done something similar using the NES, although is not so well polished. I really like the debugger. Congrats! How do I get a signed copy of your book?

For those curious to play with a commercially published 2600 game, the source for Imagic's Dragonfire was released by the author. It pastes nicely into the IDE, fully working without modification. See http://www.atariage.com/2600/archives/source/Dragonfire_sour... for info and the .tar.gz release.

For ease of copying and pasting it into the IDE, see http://pastebin.com/4nrYTt2X.

This is perfect! I was thinking about creating a simple game for a classic system for a long time. Now I have no excuse not to do it - a browser IDE with the live preview and a bunch of examples is everything I need. Also, it's much more than developers had these 39 (!) years ago.

I've been tinkering over the last few years on something very similar for the CHIP-8: http://johnearnest.github.io/Octo/

I bought their (EDIT: @sehugg's) book "Making Games for the Atari 2600" too:


Now do the same for the Z80 and the Spectrum :D

      ORG 40000
      LD HL, 50000
      LD DE, 16384
      LD BC, 2016
      END 40000

Copying the 2016-byte chunk of memory at 50000 over the screen-area, which starts at 16384?

I can almost remember well enough to be sure, but not entirely!

Great timing! I just picked up a 37 year old copy of 6502 Assembly Language Programming by Lance Leventhal. This IDE greatly reduces the stress of finding the right emulator and assembler and whatnot. Thank you!

This is great! I've read up on "chasing the beam" and how programming for the 2600 is unlike any other console. Always wanted to try my hand at it but didn't want to go through all the steps. This essentially eliminates the barrier to entry. Definitely will check it out. Thanks!

I can personally recommend Montfort & Bogost's book: Racing the Beam for this exact topic :)

One of the most illuminating technical books I have ever read. I now grok 2600 and can die happy.

Honestly, I'd rather have an editor and assembler running on my system (probably WLA-DX and Emacs). But I can't deny this is impressive, and it's a nice primer for a system that I would love to learn to program.

I've been experimenting with application-specific IDEs too, where the compute power needed is >> my laptop. When I'm using it I edit locally and rsync to the cloud machine where it runs and shows me the results in a browser.

I've had on my TODO list to integrate codemirror so other people can do everything remotely, but I don't think I'd use it myself. In principle it can be a bit faster to update, but a function key in Atom to rsync is pretty quick.

Do other people have positive/negative experiences with local/remote editing?

I run Emacs remotely from my school-issued chromebook. The major issue is that any sort of fluctuation in network speed/connectivity can freeze or upset it.

Tmux is great for this. When the connection goes down just kill ssh, reconnect, and run tmux a.

Pretty soon we'll reinvent X Windows.

We already have, it's called Wayland.

I didn't know Wayland now supports displays/controls over TCP? That was anyways the parent commenter's point I think.

> I didn't know Wayland now supports displays/controls over TCP?

Ah, yeah. The design of Wayland is such that compositors have to implement it -- because Wayland doesn't know enough about the state of the desktop to be able to efficiently relay the information (it would be like VNC).

From what I've read, a lot of the guys who worked on the Atari consoles and 8-bit home computers went on to do the Amiga once the ownership changed.

Both systems were outstanding, and I have to wonder how far personal computing has been set-back by having IBM's attempt to poison the well as its basis instead of fine systems like the Atari 8-bit series.

As much as I adore all the Jay Miner-led designs, in the grand scheme of things most of the advantages they posed come from being brilliant - and highly customized - relative to their time frame. The Sharp and NEC computers marketed in Japan offer an "alternate history" look at things but even they eventually succumbed to Wintel in the 90's.

"Wintel" is not really a thing. Apple fans misunderstood that every other platform was the same as their vertically integrated walled-garden platform. The PC clone market was different from the Mac market in an important way which made it fundamentally inaccurate to think about Apple's competition as if it were coming from one monolithic entity. I was really hoping to stop hearing this silly, inaccurate term "Wintel" when Apple started using Intel processors (ages ago now).

I'm glad you brought up the Sharp! The X68000 definitely belongs in the same pantheon.

I will quibble that difference between the PC and the Jay Miner designs is much more than the brilliance of Jay Miner. The early PC design was probably hobbled intentionally by IBM to keep it from cannibalizing their low-end mainframes and workstations. I believe that was part of why Bill G parted ways with them on OS/2: crippled PCs may have had some value to IBM, but none whatsoever to Microsoft!

This is very nice. I hope to see an update in a few months with support for other consoles - might I suggest Oric-1/Atmos at some point? :)

I'd never heard of the Oric before. The Wikipedia article seems incredibly biased. What software would you run on it?

Are there any "new" Atari 2600 games?

i.e. stuff developed in recent times?

Nicely done! I'll have to to play with this.

awesome fun.

thumbs up!!

Nice work!


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