[stella] ANTIC

Subject: [stella] ANTIC
From: Glenn Saunders <krishna@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 12 Sep 1997 00:13:32 -0700 (PDT)
On Thu, 11 Sep 1997, Nick S Bensema wrote:
> the 2600 uses, though admittedly neither machine has as much to take
> care of.

Doug Neubauer claimed that the 8-bit can do everything the 2600 can do and
I think he's wrong.  I don't think the Atari 8-bit home computer has a
sprite copy function for 2 or 3 copies of the same sprite.

Because of this, the 8-bit can't really generate as many sprites per
scanline as the 2600 is capable of, and usually software blit sprites and
character mode animation made up for this.

And the fact that the ANTIC chip always makes sure the video display is
stable prevents you from doing certain tricks that the 2600 can do by
deliberately using too few scanlines or too many.

And if you are talking about video memory, if you wanted to write a clone
of Adventure, for instance, you'd have to use quite a bit more memory to
write it on the Atari8 than the 2600.  Simple reflected playfields are
elegant in their efficiency.

> Though if you love flexibility in programming graphics, you'll love 
> programming on ANTIC-driven machines.

I think that the 8-bit is a great home computer.  It's just that after all
these years it is a very WELL EXPLORED home computer, which is why it
isn't as exciting as the 2600, which in many ways is still a mysterious
system that has yet to be fully understood by those who remain interested
in it.  And not only that, but it IS a home computer, not necessarily a
game machine, which is why many have abandoned it for greener pastures,
whereas the 2600 can seem more viable because it is only expected to pull
its weight doing games, which it does well.

I still have 8-bits, but I moved on to greener pastures (at the time) with
the Amiga.  I'd like my next machine to be a BeOS machine.

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