Making an Atari 400/800 Basic cartridge Eprom type?

From: <(>
Date: Mon Jan 22 09:13:02 2001

Atari Basic resides in an 8kbyte rom or a pair of 4k roms. It is an
excellent Basic and has many custom commands to control the Atari's unique
suite of custom coprocessors for graphics, i/o, and sound. It has
relatively primitive string handling, upper-case only commands, and no
modern fuctions like named proceedures, while, else, etcetera.

Basic XL and Basic XE are products which combine a completely compatible
basic (oss wrote Atari Basic in the first place as Shepherdson
Microsystems) with extensions which give everything Atari Basic lacks and
much more. They do so with a larger set of roms and bank selecting between
them to stay within the 8k compatibility window of Atari Basic.

Atari Microsoft Basic does have extensions to run graphics and sound, but
is about ten times slower than Atari Basic and 25 times slower than Basic
XL or Basic XE. It doesn't provide some features the others do and isn't
downwardly compatible with Atari Basic. I never used it and don't know
anyone who has.

There is another Basic for the Atari that is better than all four
mentioned above, is compatible with Atari Basic, faster than any other,
and which has all of the expected enhancements plus MUCH MUCH more. It is
also compileable and comes with a runtime kit. In short, get TURBOBASIC.

The only downside to TurboBasic is that in order to conceal it's larger
memory footprint for compatability reasons, TurboBasic resides mostly in
the 16k ram located 'under' the operating system roms. This is fine, and
lots of excellent software for the Atari does that, but because of this,
Turbobasic will not run on Spartados versions 2 thru 3 as they use that
same memory region. Spartados X and versions below 2 will work as will
any version of Ataridos or it's clones. The runtime kit runs on any dos.
There is a 'patched' version which will run on Spartados 2.x and 3.x, but
it bumps memlo. Best yet! TurboBasic is FREE. I was dumbfounded when it
came out. First at how good it is, then at the price.

The only thing I wonder is, is a rom absolutely neccessary for your

You can get a burner for the Atari from CSS Inc. of Rochester NY if they
still sell em'.

The roms are standard 27xx series roms with a max of 16k unless you use
some kind of 'supercart' banking scheme ala ICD/OSS products.



In <a05001900b691bd7431f9_at_[]>, on 01/22/01
   at 10:13 AM, Jeff Hellige <> said:

>>On Sun, 21 Jan 2001, Tony Duell wrote:
>>> I'd be suprised if you could fit a reasonable BASIC interpretter into 2K
>>> or even 4K of 6502 code....
>>Woz did it with the Apple-1 and Apple ][. Integer BASIC fits inside 16
>>pages of memory (1024 bytes). And it's quite capable, including low-res
>>graphics routines even.

> One reason I would think Atari BASIC would be a bit larger is the fact
>that it included support for all the advanced features of the Atari
>hardware, such as collision detection and player-missle graphics. You
>could easily do graphics with 128 colors onscreen from within BASIC, and
>in fact Compute! published a demo that did just that drawing the Atari
>logo, this on a bone-stock 800. This was in contrast to C-64 BASIC
>which was able to directly take advantage of few of it's features, such
>as the sound and graphics modes, without the addition of things such as
>Simon's BASIC. Did the Atari version of Microsoft BASIC retain the
>hardware access, or was it more just a generic version?

> Jeff

Jeffrey S. Worley
Complete Computer Services, Inc.
30 Greenwood Rd.
Asheville, NC 28803
Visit our website at HTTP://
Received on Mon Jan 22 2001 - 09:13:02 GMT

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