RE: [stella] Joystick Port Baud rate...

Subject: RE: [stella] Joystick Port Baud rate...
From: Glenn Saunders <cybpunks2@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2001 20:59:03 -0800
At 02:19 AM 11/15/2001 +0100, you wrote:
Next step would be placing the TIA inside the cartridge
too, and throwing the VCS away :-)

You make it sound like it's easy. On paper, sure, but not in practice.

For some reason I doubt anyone will pull off a new TIA chipset in miniature. Look at the approach that was taken for the Activision 10-in-1 for instance. Those guys had the resources and they couldn't pull it off.

FPGA type stuff like what was done for the Cuttle Cart, yeah, but the TIA and 6507 and RIOT?

I'll believe it when I see it.

As far as cheating goes, anything you plug into the 2600 is cheating. Every controller, every cart with extra circuitry beyond a 4K ROM.

To me, if something can be done inexpensively that extends the VCSs capabilities, I see no reason not
to do it.

The VCS is over 20 years old so new hardware is a way to explore new ground with the thing, especially when the hardware you add would have been inconceivable 20 years ago (although certainly the Gameline Modem is an early attempt at the same concept).

I've always been interested in the clash of old and new that happens when you hook up modern peripherals to an old device. It was pretty cool running a BBS on an Atari 130XE with a hard drive interface, for instance.

One thing, that is part of my current concept, is that
no video output is necessary at all, not even a TV is
needed. So I don't need to care about VBLANK or any of
that stuff. I can use _all_ cycles for

That may be true for your application, but it makes sense to think beyond the scope of an independent project, especially if extra hardware is involved with many hours of R&D. Otherwise you've got a one-off piece that won't likely be used for anything else.

That's been my suggestion to the two people who have come forward interested in designing something to provide more buttons for the driving controller. If you are going to build something like that, why not make it flexible enough to be able to add more buttons to the paddles or joysticks too, and also work with the Vectrex...

All that preprocessing, if really necessary could be
done by the circuit plugged into the joystick port, too.

With a cart you can address the entire buffer at once. With an input buffer hooked up to the joystick port you'd have to pull the bytes out one by one through some sort of command and response system.

Of course, the problem with a cart is having to be able to download new game code at the same time. You pretty much have to almost redo the cuttle cart ;) I doubt that a passthrough cart would be possible.

Hm... everything sounds sooo doable. So why isn't any
MIDI stuff existing for the VCS so far? :-)

It wasn't created for the VCS during its lifespan because MIDI didn't really take off until after the videogame crash.

That and the fact that the VCS produces such atonal music ;)

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