Archive for the ‘Atari Falcon’ Category

YouTube on the Falcon!

February 4, 2011

A fairly simple guide to playing YouTube movie content on your Atari Falcon 030.

Well here’s another potential revolution in human affairs coming up from behind, threatening to hit you smartly on the back of the head, laugh at your prostrate unconscious form and steal your shoes. Yes, you will rue the day that you wore those smart brown loafers in these cold mean streets!

YouTube on the Falcon“, that’s a big statement making some bold claims in the teeth of doubt right there pal. So how’s it done then? You skeptically ask.

First the gentle letting down process starts. This paragraph will tell you how it is not done. There are no clever networking gizmo’s to connect in a high speed fashion to the intertubes without fuss or faff, no stunning new browser concepts allowing Flash video playback in its latest versions, and definitely no superhuman coding feats to bring a super-optimised Flash player to the Falcon in the first place.

So we’re talking about movie conversion again, are we not?

Well yes, but here’s where the building up hope again part of the article starts off. It is a fairly simple process involving a tool-chain with just three components. I’m sure you’ve already worked this one out for yourselves, but just in case you haven’t, it’s nice to share.

This handy screenshot of a typical open YouTube page shows our starting point. The subject matter is short and personally appealing. I think you’ll like it as well, featuring a better than average mid-eighties commercial for my favourite lost home computer before the Falcon 030 came along.

The original movie on YouTube.

The direct link is here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yp6wc6YJpn4

Step 1. Getting the Youtube content down from its gilded cage..

As we all know, Youtube does not feature any direct download access by itself. Fortunately there are a number of methods to get around this. There are download websites such as www.kissyoutube.com or www.downloadhelper.net where you can copy and paste the Youtube URL to download the video stream as an .FLV file.

Alternatively, you can use something like the ‘UnPlug’ Firefox extension. For Mac fans, there is a backdoor method in Safari. When the YouTube browser window is opened, find and double click on the video replay file in the activity window. This file is typically several megabytes and still growing. This then opens a new blank browser window and the download manager appears and shows a file called something like ‘videoreplay’ downloading to the desktop. Once there, it just remains for you to rename it with a filename of your choice with an .flv extension.

For Mac fans, you will still have to transfer the collected Flash video files to a Windows system for steps 2. and 3. unfortunately. Unless you have one of those dual booting Macs that gives house-room to a Windows option of course.

Step 2. Preparing for Step 3.

Right now, we have an .FLV file. This can play back nicely on current versions of the Videolan VLC player, and if that is all you want to do, then you can stop reading right here. For the rest of you who wish to see this content playing back decently on an Atari TOS system, read on.

The problem with .FLV files is that they are definitely not supported by Aniplayer for one thing. Another issue is that the other software at the end of the tool-chain, VirtualDub, is not .FLV friendly by itself. There are plugin’s available to help VirtualDub load these in, but this involves a whole world of extra libraries and poking around in old support sites and obscure parts of Microsoft itself. Yes I tried that, and gave up! This is not recommended for the headache factor alone. Also VirtualDub is quite an old program itself and I’m not sure how well installing ancient libraries would sit with a more modern Windows machine?

So clearly we need an intermediate step, the The crucial ‘bit in the middle’. As it happens I found an application that does the job nicely. In this case I’m using the Pazera FLV to AVI converter. It is a free download and it works.

The current version of the FLV to AVI/MPEG converter is 1.2. It is a Windows pc application. It offers to convert to .avi or .mpg from .flv. Both of these file types are read in by VirtualDub. I seemed to get on better with converting to MPEG. The user interface is intuitive and easy to follow and all of the options are visible and usable upfront. You can play around with the various video and audio settings, a degree of customization from here is possible, but most of the time you should leave them on their default auto settings. I’d personally wait until you’ve got to VirtualDub before making any big changes to your movie.

You may want to customize the video resolution if you encounter an odd screen format, say a very widescreen movie trailer or similar. The audio settings should be left as they are. You will need to change them back afterwards as Pazera tends to ‘remember’ the amended settings, even after quitting.

(Update:- Generally I find it best to set up and stick with the horizontal resolution best suited to your Falcy’s abilities. From there, the vertical resolution, regardless of how widescreen it is, should tuck in nicely under the horizontal rez that you asked for in the first place.

So to use a specific example from when I’ve been playing, a 640 x 480 VGA-sized movie slims down to something like 240 x 180 pixels, but I’ve encountered at least one movie trailer which went down to 240 x 80 to keep the aspect ratio looking decent. Other examples have been less extreme, say 240 x 120 pixels or similar.

As well as avoiding fugliness, it also means you should be pushing a bit less video data through Aniplayer when playing back the end result, which is helpful with a slower machine.)

The end result should be an .avi or .mpg file which is ready for the third and final stage. The site URL for the Pazera converters is here: www.pazera-software.com

Step 3. Final conversion to an Aniplayer friendly format.

This third and final step is simple, for me to write down at least. Go to Beetle’s tuition article from the last issue of Low Res Mag and proceed from there to get to an Aniplayer friendly .avi movie file. If you are taking a close interest in this article, you probably already have VirtualDub set up and are comfortable with how to use this application. If you need a reminder, here’s the link for you.

https://lowresmag.wordpress.com/2010/05/15/how-to-encode-video-for-playback-on-falcon/

And just to show that there was a satisfactory end result, here’s a screengrab of the converted movie playing in Aniplayer.

Youtube movie on the Aranym desktop!

So now you can add YouTube content to your soon to be vast libraries of Atari-friendly media material. Happy days!

CiH for Low Res Mag, Dec 2010.

ATARI EMULATION

February 4, 2011

 

Emulation of most, if not all Atari machines has now progressed to being something which is holding it’s own rather well. From the early, slightly stuttering, days of PacifiST back in the mid to late nineties to what is around today, with the likes of Steem and Hatari being the major forces for emulation of STe (in the case of Steem) and a partially emulated Falcon in the case of Hatari (though Hatari also emulates the ST and STe to just about 100%) / this makes both programs a force to be reckoned with.

Emulation of the ST is now not something to look down upon, unlike in earlier years. Even the kings of the Falcon demo scene, Dead Hackers Society, have been spotted using Hatari under emulation on the Mac to develop new stuff for the scene; this was considered by sceners such as themselves to be lame not so many years ago.

Those of us who travel to coding parties in Europe have always felt constrained by the inability to transport ageing hardware. Therefore, we have tended to be reduced to travelling with laptops amongst other gear required for coding parties, most notably a sleeping bag, pillow, enough underwear and socks so that ppl don’t start complaining about bad smells along with some nightwear also.

It is difficult to justify travelling with a laptop as your own means of computer hardware; particularly when having access to a car for transport means that you could, if you wish, bring older hardware with you. I personally have tried to do this certainly for visiting Outline parties in the past but whether this continues I have no clue.

Version 1.3.1, the latest release of Hatari that was released to the public at the time of writing this article, now features some rather intriguing emulation of the Falcon. Whilst I am of the belief that DSP emulation is still at the early stage,it is interesting to see what actually does run under Falcon emulation using Hatari.

For instance, whilst the classic Avena demo, Dementia, does in fact run, it does go out of synch and eventually crashes. This is in no way any fault of the demo or Avena; it runs perfectly well on a stock Falcon. I personally haven’t tested it with the CT60 though will at some point now I have one (yes, I have to fit it as well but there’s a glimmer of hope on the horizon that it will happen 😉 )

Through personal observation, possibly more so at the Alternative Party over the last couple of years, whilst it has been good to see the old hardware still being used for development work, I have noticed a general switch to laptop based crossdevelopment, along with emulation to ensure that what is developed works properly, before porting it to the target hardware. I think this is how a lot of the software houses used to operate back in the eighties with the Sinclair Spectrum and Amstrad computers, back in the day, using the now ancient Apple IIe machines for development, before porting the resulting code to the target home computer.

To the present day for a few moments and we have just arrived at Outline 2010. It is interesting, looking around, that while we still have a few stalwarts who insist (and indeed prefer) to bring the real kit with them, but they are few and far between compared to those of us using laptops, whether we have arrived by car or not.

I honestly don’t think that we need to worry about emulation. In a way, it makes us more creative, for example, being able to take a laptop to work & code on it during your own time, whether that be at lunch or while your workproject is compiling, like it is believed how Mr Pink/RG has been known to work at times. Whilst he was the first coder I noticed working in that way, I have noticed others, such as Evl and Baggio, working in what looks like a very similar way.

As this article was in the process of being written, the new version (v1.4) of Hatari was released. From early tests I have carried out just this afternoon, timing in demos seems to be quite a bit better than before. The slower CPU option seems to put paid to the compatibility though; turn that off and things should be OK. That option was already selected on my setup but may not be as standard; it might be something peculiar to my machine’s setup here.

Random Images – A spamfomercial!

May 15, 2010

The title picture.

Ok, I’m going to use these hallowed pages, (Hallowing concept (C) Richard Karsmakers 1989-ish,) for some self-promotion of ‘product’.

At least the product in question is new, intended to be Atari related and meant to be enjoyed on any TOS-based computer close to hand.

Whirly shiny bubbles.

Quite simply, if everything has gone to plan for Outline 2010, then the ‘Random Images’ CD-ROM image file [1] will be available for downloading. In nerdy numbers, that means around 500 MB of stuff to play with, including 675 painstakingly converted Targa pictures. Also there are 399 animated GIF’s in the image too. Finally there is a smallish selection of handy tools to view these goodies too.

When I say ‘CD-ROM’, this was the most convenient method of gathering up the collection. It would be easy enough to transfer this to one of the new generation of SD-card based storage devices. Did I say UltraSatan, oops, guess I did!

As to the point of the whole exercise, you might be aware that the STE can fake a lot more colours onscreen than the official and rather measly sixteen that Atari were content with. How about 19200 colours onscreen from 32768 available? Well Photochrome can do it, and here are the pictures to show this to the world! Even the veteran STFM can manage 4096 colours onscreen, which is still pretty damn respectable.

Felice and Earx are coke addicts!

The animated GIF’s are sorted by size category. To be honest if you get anything much bigger than ‘titchy’, then you will start to need more powerful hardware than a base model ST. A Falcon can reach across some of the gap. An accelerated Falcon or emulated super-clone even more so. Again take the time to check these out.

There’s more to say within the collection itself. Each individual image has been catalogued and listed, and there are some nice documentation files to read as well.

So don’t delay, grab today!


Links:

  1. Download CiH’s random images CD

How to encode video for playback on Falcon

May 15, 2010

For some years available there is that nice software called “Aniplayer”. Its capable of replaying audio and video files of several formats. Those video files you have on your PC’s and laptops are, however, most likely not playable on the Falcon, even if powered up with a whopping 100 MHz ct63 upgrade.

Either the file is replayed without picture or audio, or Aniplayer rejects the file with some ‘codec xyz not supported’ message. Its also possible that it gets replayed in speed of a snail on Valium…

But somehow it had to be possible, i was sure.

So i tried various tools, encoders and codecs and came to a solution that finally enables to replay fullscreen video with enjoyable audio quality.

So, what is my goal? What its not?

I want the best possible video playback i can reach with a Falcon 060. I am not really looking for the most efficient compression (although i try not to make unnessecary large files).

Some basic conclusions right here in front:

  • Aniplayer can do Xvid in 320×200 but only manages to depack 15 frames per second
  • Aniplayer can decode mp2/mp3 audio but video stutters horribly then
  • mpeg2 needed a hardware decoder on Pentium 1 class PC, remember?
  • Radius Cinepak codec depacks with a lot less CPU work, no problem at 320×240, 30 fps
  • for audio stream wave or Microsoft ADPCM works good
  • use native Falcon clocks to avoid high cpu load and clicks/cracks

Needed Tools:

  • PC with Windows XP/Vista/7
  • XviD [1] and DivX [3] installed (some files need one or other)
  • VirtualDub [2]
  • optionally some tools to convert your wanted source (DVD or MP4/MKV/whatever) into AVI

That last point i use ‘SUPER’ [4] for, which is a frontend to various commandline de/encoder and tools. Here on my machine it works (most of the time) but crashes sometimes, too. Your mileage may vary.

Here we go!

First thing is of course getting a source video you want to encode. For this howto, we should take something easy available. Try it with this file on your setup, and after the result works for you, too, proceed with the video of your choice.

Connect to internet and download the fr-025 video [5]

Save it in a folder of your choice, i suggest making a new one that ends with /source. Also create a folder that holds the encoded Falcon videos.

Launch VirtualDub and choose File -> Open File. Point to your source folder, choose the popular demo.

Now choose Video -> Filter . Click Add and select resize. The config dialopgue of the added filter appears, check Pixels: Absolute and Aspect Ratio: disabled. Now enter destination size: 320×152 for this very widescreen video. The cinepak codec is fine with multiples of 8, so you should check that, too. If you enter a size not a multiple of 8, VirtualDub will choose the next matching size for you. We do not crop or letterbox anything here, so close the dialogue.

Some videos look a bit too dark on my Falcon, so in that case i also add filter Brightness/Contrast and and slighty brighten up the video by around 5%.

Now select File->File information. You see, our fr-025 video is 640×320, 60 fps. The size we already scale, but 60 fps is too much for the Falcon. Close the infobox, choose Video->Frame Rate. Here check Frame Rate conversion and enter 30 fps. If your source Video is 50fps, convert it to 25fps – logically 25 and 30 fps video don’t need any framerate conversion. A mistake here, like converting a 25 fps video to 30 fps or similar will result in subtle but annoying stutter of video playback.

Now go to Video-> compression and choose the cinepak by Radius. The quality slider has no effect on the cinepak codec, so check use target rate of and enter 350 kilobytes/second. Feel free to experiment with your quality/size tradeoff.

Now we move on to the audio stream. Select Audio->Interleave and enter Interleave audio every 1 frame. Also, enter 500 ms in the Audio skew correction field. Not that i knew why, but this is the key to get 100% synced Audio. If your video’s audio does not sync, play around here to make it match.

Next check Audio->Full processing mode and then open Audio->Conversion. We don’t want to have the CPU need to resample the audio during playback so we check Custom and enter one of the native Falcon frequencies.

Those are 49170, 32780, 24585, 19668, 16390, 12292, 9834, 8195 Hz. A very good quality you get with 32780. This is the sample rate, and the highest frequency you can replay with that rate is half of the sample rate. So 32780 is good for audio up to 16kHz and good enough. If you’re keen on filesize, save 30% by entering 19668 without a too big impact on quality. Select 16 Bit precision and check High quality . Using Stereo is okay, but of course takes twice the size. Decide what you need. For the howto we use 32780 stereo.

If you need to keep filesize down, compress audio with ADPCM. Its by no means a lossless compression and, especially in more quiet parts, compression is audible. When converting an STe demo with YM chiptune you’ll hardly notice, though.

The bandwitdh usage below is before compression, anyway. This leads to the next point, choose Audio->compression. Here you select the audio compression Microsoft ADPCM, then click the “32,780Khz, 4bit, stereo” option. I’d have liked to choose the IMA ADPCM instead, but that one adds annoying clicking to the Falcon audio. Feel free to try it. You see, we now use ‘only 33kByte/s for audio, not the 129 kByte/s without compression.

Sometimes the source audio is too loud. Your mediaplayer on the PC won’t have a problem with that, it softclips during playback. The ADPCM encoder doesn’t do that, so, to avoid problems here, you may open the Audio->Volume window, check the Adjust volume of audio channels checkbox and lower the volume to 90%. This is safe for me and i use it by default.

Okay, this is what we needed to do to start encoding! The process with your own source video will most likely need some trial and error, to find matching aspect ratio for example. Here the job control comes in handy: Select File-> Queue batch operation->Save as AVI… and choose the destination filename and folder for example D:/videos/Falcon converted/fr-025.avi . Nothing happens, but the Options we entered are now stored along with this job. Press F4 or open File->Job control and you find the prepared jobs. You can enter many jobs and let them encode overnight, and you can select a job and press Reload button, which enters all the options of that particular job into VirtualDub. So, you can save some jobs as a kind of template, reload it, and then only select File->Open video file to choose a different source, all other setting stay as in the job you reloaded.

But this is for your later work. Now we want to encode: Choose File->Save as AVI and point to your destination folder, choose your filename. Now have a coffee with your GF or similar. If you abort the encode, you can test the partly saved AVI on your Falcon, good for testing.

The resulting file you can transfer to your Falcon and open it with Aniplayer. Check ‘No GEM’ to get fullscreen, truecolor display.

Using a FAT32 formated CF card on the Falcon’s IDE bus, i can flawlessly replay a 2 GB large movie (That was the largest i ever made, unrestricted video bitrate, 32.780 kHz wave Audio uncompressed)

If you want to try out how good the results are before you install the software and go through the howto, you can download some videos of Atari ST/STe/Falcon Demos, that do not run on a Falcon060 usually [6]

Cheers!

I’m pretty sure you have also ideas on how to improve video quality more, mpeg1 video might be a way between cinepak and xvid – but i had no success there yet.

And by the way, now that you know where to tweak in VirtualDub: if you reduce destination resolution to 160×80  (unrestricted video bitrate) and choose 16390 Hz Audio, the resulting video  will replay on a stock 16MHz Falcon030, too.


Links:

  1. xvid
  2. virtualdub
  3. divx
  4. Super
  5. fr – 025 video
  6. sample videos

The future for the CT63 lies in smaller things?

December 28, 2009

I had a discussion a few days ago, with a certain scener that has a CT60 [1]. He was telling me that he had expected much more from the machine, he expected a machine that would be more geared towards demos and games but it instead proved to be aimed to GEM users.

Essentially this is true. We’ve only seen two major demos for the CT60, Supernatural by Evolution and Derealization by DHS and various smaller intros with the most notable in my view being Genocidal, again by DHS. I am not mentioning Mikro’s ports of the TBL demos because they aren’t demos specifically made for the Atari, great as they are (and a good way to tease amiga users I might add :P). In the game front things are even worse, with only ports of old open sourced games and game engines. Great as they are again, nothing specific for the ct60.

DHS videodb for a much better quality video:

You don’t need an explanation for that. Usual excuses apply. Basically it can be summarised to real life. We aren’t young students anymore. But if we also take a look a bit deeper I would like to point two or three more possible reasons. The first is the bad timing of the CT60 appearance. It came at a time when the remaining sceners had abandoned the plain old simple falcon and went back to their ST/STE roots. All we need is to take a look at the recent releases for those machines. Though their numbers aren’t really high, the quality generally is.

and again better video at DHS videodb:

The second reason has to do with the great power of the accelerator, and as they say with great power comes great responsibility. The responsibility here lies with doing something spectacular, something as good and better to what the Amiga scene has been doing with these accelerators for years. This however besides the skill, that already exists, needs time, needs a lot of work from lots of people which adds to the time.

The third reason has to do with GEM. Many of the people who got the 060 are GEM users and not that much interested in the scene. People who want a fast GEM machine. Indeed this accelerator has boosted software production in that area a lot. Of course that argument falls into the false dichotomy category. We are all gem users. We all to some or more extend use GEM apps. I am writting this on a GEM app ;). Still, false as it may be this dichotomy exists though I really can’t understand it..

What I can understand though is the fact that I want this CT63 to become more enjoyable. I vote therefore for smaller demos and more cheating :). As much as I enjoy full featured demos, I’d really like to see more intros, even if they are just a couple of screens and a scroller. I think that those smaller projects could start a chain effect. I really don’t know that much about demo making but I’d think that a great time is spent towards making all things fit, finding new effects that appear coherent, collecting graphics and all those things that make a demo. Like in life, big projects are hard to start and even harder to finish.

I think I am bringing an owl to Athens (obligatory greek expression put in order to confuse readers) and those are things everyone’s already thought. But hopefully it will spark some interesting discussion in the comments section below..

Links


1. Powerphenix – Website of the CT63

My life with the CT63

December 28, 2009

CT63 as main computer. Yes! in 2009! What’s it like to use a CT63 equiped atari falcon 030 in 2009? This is what LowRes will try to explore in this article. I must say that I’ve re-written it at least 3 times since I wasn’t happy with how it turned out the first two. Hopefully three is a charm.

Prologue

In the beginning the article was an idea. How would it feel to have the ct63 as my only computer for just a week? The week became 3 months since my PC broke and I started using the Atari. After all 50% of my computer usage was Atari related. Chatting at irc, playing games, a bit of coding. The rest was my thesis, wasting time at youtube, reading the news etc. But let’s look at the available hardware first.

Hardware

That would be an Atari Falcon +CT63 with 14MB STRAM and 256MB TTRAM, 40GB hard disk, a PeST adapter, a joystick and a jagpad. For networking, I got an ethernec adapter. The ethernec and the PeST are gifts from my good friend ggn whom I publically thank. Your friendship means a lot to me. The CT63 runs at 70MHz though I found it to be more stable at 66.6MHz. The PeST allows me to use a MS optical mouse and the ethernec to have internet access.

Software

The software I use is Highwire for browsing (with some CAB for pages that cause highwire to crash – css overflow), AtarIRC for my IRC needs, aFTP for FTP, Aniplayer for music and video and FalcAMP for online radio. This document is written on Atari Works and oh I forgot to say that I use an EasyMiNT setup. What I couldn’t find was a mail client that could use TLS that my email provider needs. Webmail naturally doesn’t work. As for my Thesis, I read PDF’s with zVIEW and I have compiled with g++ 4.4.1 the software I’ve written. Unfortunately, and this is a big problem, I haven’t found a way to type Greek on the Atari in a way that can be easily read from other computers. And since my thesis is in Greek, I have a problem.. Still, simple txt files can be converted with a program I’ve found and compiled. Also that’s a problem for greek websites, so that I’ve no problem viewing them, but a hell of a problem writing. There are a lot more programs I use, such as Two in One and KKCommander, QED and 7up, Taskbar and more.

My Teradesk powered desktop

Numb3rs
We’ve all seen benchmarks of the CT60, so no point in adding more. But since they are important I’d like to point out some. First of all the uptime, that can range from 10 seconds to 14hrs or until I shut down the machine. Once I figured out which programs to use and which not to touch, stability was increased a lot. I have found out though that sometimes NVDI or XBOOT crash on startup. Resetting the machine fixes it. Network speeds are around 400K/s locally and up to 100K/s on the internet. However with 99% of the downloads, speeds up to 30K/s are much more realistic. I’d have to stick with an average of 25K/s. There are more than 25 processes running at any given time, with an average of 28 and there are approximately 3GB’s of data sitting in my harddrive. A good cleanup will most likely eliminate about 200MB’s but since space isn’t really an issue…

KKcmd and sneek peak on my HD

Games and Demos
Unfortunately that’s where the CT63 fails to deliver. While applications are generally good, games and demos aren’t. Only very few of the falcon patched games by D-Bug and Klapauzius run, and things aren’t much better on the falcon only front. Falcon games that will run include Robinson’s Requiem CD (which benefits from the extra speed), Spice, Llamazap, Rave, Q-blue and RoadRiot 4WD. Steel Talons also runs but at a slideshow framerate.
With demos compatibility is also an issue with Underscore running like a slideshow until it crashes and Sonoluminszenz having the same effect. Various other demos will either crash or not run at all and only Beams taking advantage of the extra speed. Generally demos that make heavy use of the DSP exhibit slowdowns on the 060. I think that was explained in a previous issue of Alive. Stotro runs very well though and I am very happy for it :).
Games for the 060 simply don’t exist, with the exception of game engine ports, such as Doom, Quake, OpenTTD and SCUMMVM but I don’t play fps and SCUMM won’t run on my system. The 060 demos though, as well as the TBL ports are absolutely brillant. Please, more!

My Thesis
This is the only thing I must do on a computer, and sending mails but I’ve already discussed that. My thesis is a computer model – a simulation of a physical system that I’ve programmed in C++. Fortunately it compiled with relative ease on the falcon and it can now be executed here. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find a program that will do some of the calculations I need after I run it. So I either have to program it myself or use a PC. I could use the program Euler to do those calculations, but unfortunately that will not run on the 060. Not sure if a recompile could fix that, but I have been unable to recompile it. My knowledge of C is very limited.

Coding
That’s another problem I’m facing but that is mostly a problem of me not knowing enough about Atari coding. I have no problem with console coding, and I know nothing about GEM coding, so the problem is in something I’d like to do. Demo coding. So I would have to write a system that would get me at STlow and back to my current MiNT desktop, but that is something I have been unable to do. It’s OK you may say, go back to TOS. Well, not so easy.. Lack of knowledge means I constantly need to use material that is either online or in hypertext documents or in simple documents. That means I need a multitasking environment. All in all, I miss STEEM! GBE is great though :). And now I stop whining!

Media

Well, you can play audio files and do other stuff as well. No problem there. Video is another issue. Apart from youtube that is out of the question, it’s not very likely you get to play a 320×240 divx movie, though the divx codec exists (aniplayer again). I suspect that the 060 can be just about fast enough (with the help of the DSP) but the slow bus bandwidth and the low colour depth might not allow it. It’s possible though that the supervidel or the radeon will fix that. I’d like to hear people’s opinions on the subject.

Highwire and Aniplayer

Epilogue
The Atari is just not up to the task to be a modern computer. It’s close though. It covers approximately 75% of my computer needs and about 50% of my computer wants. I found out that the features I mostly need are web stuff. More particularly Javascript and ssl. That way I wouldn’t need to move to a pc every few hours to check something on my webmail. Also, a bigger resolution than 640×480 would have been nice. My TFT screen doesn’t like the manipulation done by programs such as Videlity or Blowup so I am stuck. Generally the software in the Atari world is very good. I don’t think my falcon doesn’t have a program that was equivalent to the one I used on the PC, with the exception of a program that could process scientific data in the way I want it to.
The transition from the PC to the Atari was a bit hard but now that I will go back to using a PC I find myself not that excited. I think that people who will switch to the Coldari, when that becomes available, won’t have a hard time to do so. It’s probably harder for me to go back to the IBM compatibles (remember when that was the word we used for them?) than staying on the Atari, but truth be told, there are a few things missing that do make life harder than it should.
I am very interested to see people’s responses on this article, what do you use your atari for, what would you like to be using it for and what do you miss from the days when the atari was your main computer?