Author Topic: Atari emulator on Nspire?  (Read 7146 times)

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Offline Spyro543

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Atari emulator on Nspire?
« on: May 10, 2011, 06:52:57 am »
I wanted to ask this after I saw the C64 emulator idea thread.

Would an Atari 2600 emulator be possible? Maybe a higher system?

Offline ruler501

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Re: Atari emulator on Nspire?
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2011, 07:14:54 am »
Is the Atari close enough to the NES that we could base the emulator off of that?
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Offline calc84maniac

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Re: Atari emulator on Nspire?
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2011, 09:21:36 am »
From what I've heard, the Atari 2600 isn't very powerful, but it can be a pain to emulate. It might be possible to port some emulator written in C to reduce personal heartbreak. :P
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Offline BrownyTCat

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Re: Atari emulator on Nspire?
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2011, 11:05:23 am »
From what I've heard, the Atari 2600 isn't very powerful, but it can be a pain to emulate. It might be possible to port some emulator written in C to reduce personal heartbreak. :P
Even a C64 would be easier, it's actually got nearly the same resolution as the nSpire.

Offline TIfanx1999

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Re: Atari emulator on Nspire?
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2011, 11:26:40 am »
@ruler:I don't think so. I think they're still significantly different.

Offline BrownyTCat

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Re: Atari emulator on Nspire?
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2011, 11:28:25 am »
@ruler:I don't think so. I think they're still significantly different.

Atari is nothing like NES, Atari also uses rectangular pixels.

Offline ruler501

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Re: Atari emulator on Nspire?
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2011, 12:58:14 pm »
What is the screen resolution on an atari? and how different are hese rectangular pixels from the ones the Nspire uses?
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Offline Spyro543

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Re: Atari emulator on Nspire?
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2011, 01:39:04 pm »
What are recrangular pixels and how are they different?

Offline calc84maniac

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Re: Atari emulator on Nspire?
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2011, 01:53:02 pm »
Here is what wikipedia has to say about emulation:
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Atari 2600 emulation is available for most major operating systems and is now very accurate. Despite the relative simplicity of the 2600 system, it is not an easy system to emulate. While it does not require a lot of computational power to emulate the 2600, it is hard to accurately do so. For example, because of the lack of a frame buffer, 2600 emulators must not only emulate the console, but the television as well. Due to the longevity of the system, many 2600 games used undocumented features, and even exploited bugs in the hardware to squeeze the most out of the system, doing things even the original designers would deem impossible (a notable example is the starfield of the game Cosmic Ark). It took some time for the emulator programmers to mature their software to properly emulate the undocumented features, bugs and quirks of the system.
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Offline aeTIos

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Re: Atari emulator on Nspire?
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2011, 02:04:05 pm »
A rectangular pixel is exactly what its name says: They are rectangles. ;D
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Offline calc84maniac

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Re: Atari emulator on Nspire?
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2011, 02:51:45 pm »
Actually, I think the deal with the "rectangular pixels" is that the background data for each row is arranged such that each pixel represents 4 pixels onscreen (so effectively it's a 4x1 pixel). However, I believe the "sprites" (or whatever those things are) do not have this limitation.
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Offline ralphdspam

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Re: Atari emulator on Nspire?
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2011, 11:52:36 pm »
Yeah, the 2600's sprites consists of a background, 2 player sprites, a ball, and 2 missiles.  Each of the "sprites" are all one line, meaning that each sprite must be updated before the TIA chip displays each line.  This can be a pain, because you have to be absolutely perfect with the t-states you take up in your program. 

As far as the resolution is concerned, the "standard" NTSC resolution is considered 192x160.  This number can change, because the programmer can manually adjust the vertical and horizontal blank.  Recently, programmers have found a way to force the tv to interlace the image, effectively doubling the vertical resolution. 
« Last Edit: May 11, 2011, 11:57:09 pm by ralphdspam »
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Offline DJ Omnimaga

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Re: Atari emulator on Nspire?
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2011, 12:16:28 am »
Hmm I am a bit confused about what this means X.x. One thing I noticed, however, is that most Atari 2600 sprites, for example enemies or cars, are like 2 colors max, each.

Offline ralphdspam

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Re: Atari emulator on Nspire?
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2011, 12:32:19 am »
The TIA chip only supports 1-color sprites, so the programmer actually has to use tricks to make the sprite multiple colors. 
One way is to layer a bunch of 1-color sprites so there can be multiple colors.  The programmer can also change the color of the sprite on a line-by line basis.  It is even harder than grayscale on the 84!
« Last Edit: May 12, 2011, 12:32:58 am by ralphdspam »
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Offline DJ Omnimaga

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Re: Atari emulator on Nspire?
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2011, 12:45:41 am »
Hmm I see now. I guess this is why there were no game with tilemaps like on the NES. It definitively seems limited O.O