ANTIC Interview 5 – The Atari 8-bit Podcast – Brad Koda of Best Electronics

Welcome to this special, interview-only episode of Antic the Atari 8-bit podcast. This is the first of a few interviews we’re planning to air in the month of December, 2014, leading up to the traditional US holidays of Christmas and New Years. As December tends to be a month where lots of purchases are made, I thought it might be a good idea to talk to each of the remaining Atari dealers in the US and to get their stories. This interview is with Brad Koda, proprietor of Best Electronics, certainly one of THE most popular Atari 8-bit outlets still in existence. Best Electronics is celebrating it’s 30TH year of business this year, which is absolutely amazing! Brad has a lot of stories about what it’s been like over those 30 years, from working closely with Atari in the 80’s & 90’s to what it’s like now.

Please enjoy and let Brad know you appreciate what he provides for the Atari community.


Best Electronics

Source:: ANTIC Interview 5 – The Atari 8-bit Podcast – Brad Koda of Best Electronics


ANTIC Interview 4 – The Atari 8-bit Podcast – Chris Olson

Randy interviews a long-time friend of the show, Chris Olson. Chris is an Atari enthusiast from a very early age, as he discusses in this interview. His father taught in the computer camps that Atari used to run in the 80’s. Chris is known as CGOApps in the forums.

I hope you enjoy this interview with a general Atari 8-bit fan.


Aviation Careers Podcast episode with Chris as a guest (Episode 35, From Computers to the Cockpit)

DOS Nostalgia Podcast on flight simulators with Chris as a guest (mentions Atari 8-bit sims such as Flight Simulator II, Solo Flight, F-15 Strike Eagle)

Chris’ “Bingo Fuel” iOS Application (iPhone version)

Chris’ “Bingo Fuel” iOS Application (iPad version)

target=”_blank”>Rob Hubbard Soundtrack to Atari 8-bit version of Jet Set Willy (YouTube clip)

Chris’ Twitter: @CGOApps

Chris’ App Blog

Source:: ANTIC Interview 4 – The Atari 8-bit Podcast – Chris Olson


ANTIC Episode 16 – The Atari 8-bit Podcast – The Right Cartridge Slot

On this episode of Antic, the Atari 8-bit PODCAST: We look at the Atari 850 interface, the SIO2SD device, and the right cartridge slot — we strike out with Alan Alda — and our friend Gray Chang sends us a care package of amazing previously-unreleased books and software.

Also with a great segment by our good friend Bill Kendrick about games converted from the Atari 2600 to the computers. And, a special segment by Chris Olsen about Atari 8-bit emulation on IOS. It’s an information-packed episode you won’t want to miss!

Links mentioned in this episode:

Recurring Links

Floppy Days Podcast

Kevins Book “Terrible Nerd”

New Atari books scans at

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge the Atlanta Historical Computing Society

What We’ve Been Up To

Atari ITalk II Owners Manual

Commodore MOS FBI FOIA Response

Halftime Battlin’ Bands record, audio-instructions for CBS Software carts

AtariAge Forum – found pre-release versions of Atari documentation

Atari Operating System Users Manual November 1980

Atari 400/800 Hardware Manual November 1980

De Re Atari early version

Atari Company Store Price List

Gray Chang Source code!

AtariAge Discussion of Gray Chang source code and printed matter

Gray Chang ephemera collection

Blue Yeti Microphone

Mercenary: Escape from Targ

Best Electronics


New Video Game History Museum Being Built Near Dallas


Atari 2600-PC-Interface

Digitized music demos

Digitized Music Demos Discussion on AtariAge


AtariAge discussion on FTDI chip bricking
THE!CART Website

AtariAge Discussion of The!Cart

“Classic Atari” book by Jason Morris at iTunes

Software Library at

Review Segment – SIO2SD

SIO2SD at Lotharek’s Web Site

Bill’s Modern Segment

“Racing the Beam: The Atari Video Computer System” by Nick Montfort, Ian Bogost

“Midnight Magic (Atari 2600)” at Wikipedia

“Midnight Magic for Atari 800” thread at AtariAge forums

Original Atari 2600 Midnight Magic manual at AtariAge

Seaquest AtariMania entry

“Seaquest for the 800” thread at AtariAge forums

Original Atari 2600 Seaquest manual at AtariAge

“Stampede new 2600 conversion” thread at AtariAge forums

Original Atari 2600 Stampede manual at AtariAge

“The Atari 2600 Game By Game Podcast”, epsiode 52: Stampede & Ice Hockey

Atari 8-bit Emulation on IOS by Chris Olson

Guide to Atari 8-bit Emulation on IOS

Hardware/Software/Website of the Month

Atari 8-bit at Reddit

Listener Feedback

tutorial series on Programming the Atari XL/XE

Jay Kint blog post on rediscovering the Atari 8-bits

AtariAge link with joystick port pinouts and discussion about controllers

Feature Topic – Atari 850 Interface Module

Atari 8-bit FAQ

850 Information at Atari Museum

“Atari Meets the Real World” by Richard Kushner from Compute!s First Book of Atari

850 Interface Operator’s Manual

850 Interface Technical Manual


NEW music from RaphelGoulart using the TriTone GTIA beeper engine

Source:: ANTIC Episode 16 – The Atari 8-bit Podcast – The Right Cartridge Slot


IOS Atari Emulation Guide

ANTIC – Atari Podcast

Guide for Atari Emulation on iOS Devices

Written by C. Olson, October 2014

Greetings, all. Emulation on iOS devices is a subject that has always proven difficult, given the constraints of the App Store and overall Apple philosophy. Anything that executes non-native code is frowned upon at the App Store level, and often rejected outright.

What does this mean? Simply put, you need a jailbroken iOS device. This is a deal breaker for a great many people, and it’s understandable. I’ll leave the fierce debate on the merits and dangers of jailbroken devices out of this guide — many opinions on both sides. Moving forward though, I’ll assume basic to moderate knowledge of Cydia (the non-Apple ‘App Store’) and working within the jailbroken file system. If the ability to emulate the Atari encourages you to take the plunge and jailbreak, plenty of tutorials and information exist – please read them carefully. The process has evolved quite a bit over the years but it still carries some risk. Proceed with caution!

All set? Here’s a brief outline of what we’ll be doing, with detailed steps to follow:

* Download the Atari Emulator “XFormer” (MS-DOS version), preferably on your iOS device.

* Locate the Atari Disk images and file you would like to use – then transfer them to your iOS device or download directory.

* Run Cydia

* Add a Source in Cydia

– This source is a repository for DOSPad, a port of DOSBox, cross platform MS-DOS emulator for iOS.

* Install DOSPad

* Use on-device file management software to move and unzip/unarchive XFormer

* Run DOSPad

* Launch XFormer from the DOSPad C:> prompt

* Enjoy some Fuji color cycling goodness!

Detailed Instructions:

All of the file downloading and transferring can be done on your iOS device, or, you may download files to your computer and transfer them over. I use a file management app called “iFile” which is a paid application on Cydia, and well worth it. For downloading, I use the “Safari Download Plug-in” which is also on Cydia and free – clicking on a download link in Safari will bring up a prompt for you to save the file in a specified location, and, using iFile, you can move, unzip, etc. If you want a little more control over how Safari handles downloads, another paid Cydia app called Safari D+ comes highly recommended. Cydia, like the regular App Store, receives a huge influx of new content daily, so it’s quite possible there might be different and more compelling options out there by the time you read this. I don’t know if there’s a free file management app available, but it’s worth a look.

If you have a large library of Atari stuff on your computer that you want to transfer to your iOS device, rest assured that it is possible and not too difficult. You will need to install and configure SSH on your iOS device, and install a file management program on your actual computer. Two programs that I used in the past to do this were iPhone Explorer and I-FunBox. Both of them worked quite well, on both Windows and Macintosh platforms. These are drag and drop, Finder/Windows Explorer-like programs for movement of files, folders and directories.


Be -EXTREMELY- careful when you are moving folders and files on your iOS device! If you mistakenly delete a system directory, there’s no going back! Same warning applies when viewing/accessing the iOS file system on your computer. Enable the “Trash” option, if available, in both places. File management programs are excellent utilities, but they do not distinguish between system folders and regular folders!

Guides and information for configuring and installing SSH, using iFile/other file management apps, Safari Downloads, and computer/iOS file transfer are fairly easy to find via search engine, and, frankly, beyond the scope of this guide. There’s some very helpful information regarding SSH and device security on the front page of Cydia itself — a good place to start if you’re unfamiliar.

Let’s get started.

1) Download XFormer. The version we want is called “XFormer Classic” – here’s the link:

Note the path where the download was saved on your iOS device for later steps.

2) If you will be transferring Atari data from your computer, I’d suggest creating an easily accessible Atari-specific directory on your iOS device. Mine is located at /var/mobile/Atari. The underlying iOS file system has Unix roots, which allows for long filenames and lower case, but in the case of both MS-DOS and Atari, filenames must conform to the eight character name and three character extension (8.3) specification (e.g. ATARI.BAS is okay – AtariTenLineProgram-txt.bas is not.) If you want to try things out first, the XFormer emulator ships with Atari DOS and .ATR disk images that contain a few demos and games.

3) Initiate the data transfer, launch your on-device file management app, and verify that your files/folder are, in fact, present.

4) Close the file management program on your computer, if applicable.

5) Run Cydia on your iOS device.

6) Select the “Sources” tab on the bottom of the screen.

7) Tap the “Edit” button in the top right hand corner of the screen.

8) Tap the “Add” button in top left hand corner of the screen.

9) You are presented with a prompt that reads “Enter Cydia/APT URL”

The “http://” should be filled in automatically.

Type the following:

Then tap the “Add Source” button.

10) Cydia should populate with the DOSPad files, plus a few others by this developer.

11) Select the “Changes” tab from the bottom of the screen.

12) The entries from should appear near the top of the screen. Select “DOSPad – DOSBox for iOS” and install the package. If you don’t see this on screen, select the “Search” tab from the bottom of the screen and type “Dospad” to find it.

13) Make sure you have the location of the XFormer Classic emulator from Step 1. I suggest moving that file into your newly created “Atari” directory to keep everything in one place.

14) Using iFile or a separate unzip/unarchive utility, unzip the XFormer file ( This can be done in iFile by simply tapping the file itself and selecting “Unarchiver.”

15) At this point, the hard work is done. You should now have an Atari directory that’s easily accessible with the requisite Atari data from your computer (if applicable.) DOSPad is installed, and, for the sake of simplicity, the XFormer emulator is unzipped within that same Atari directory. Let’s run it!

16) Quit iFile and locate the DOSPad icon on your iOS device. Run DOSPad.

17) If all goes well, you should see the C:> prompt at the top of the screen. Welcome back to MS-DOS 5.0 and the early 1990’s! I’m an MS-DOS enthusiast too, but we’re looking to go a little farther back in time. If you’re familiar with the MS-DOS command line, most of the

old commands will work, go ahead and try them out, if you like. When finished, type the directory command “DIR” and press Return.

18) If you are running DOSPad on an iPad, you’ll be treated to a slick user interface that really takes advantage of the larger screen. In Portrait mode, the keyboard overlay mimics the chiclet-style IBM PS/2 keyboard. In Landscape mode, the display goes full screen – and you can access the keyboard by tapping the top of the screen and selecting the keyboard icon. On the iPhone, Landscape mode shows a full screen display, but in Portrait, the bottom half of the screen toggles between keyboard and gamepad view.

19) Your Atari directory should be visible on the screen somewhere. Assuming your directory is named “ATARI”, type “CD ATARI” and press Return.

20) We need to make sure we can find the appropriate disk image file to use with XFormer – type the “DIR” command if you’re unsure. If you transferred a large number of files, use “DIR /P” to pause the directory listing or a wildcard — “DIR *.ATR” will list only .ATR image files.

21) Time to launch XFormer, finally! Type the following and press Return when done:


22) Almost there! You should see an XFormer splash screen, with some very helpful keystrokes listed. Take a screenshot on your iOS device (press the home button and power button simultaneously) so you can refer back when needed. The “-J” switch enables the joystick in XFormer – which can be utilized in Dospad by selecting the gamepad/joystick UI on the screen. Feel free to omit the -J switch if you won’t be using the joystick. “ANALOG51.XFD” is one of the Atari disk images that ships with XFormer. I’d suggest trying this out first, and if it works, substitute the name of your intended disk image in its place.

23) “Press Any Key To Begin…” <- Sounds about right!

24) Your iOS device should say “Analog Computing” at the top of the screen, and the rest should look all too familiar. Congratulations! You are now emulating the Atari 130XE.

25) If you would like to try one of the programs included on the Analog disk, use and , which are mapped to F7 and F8, respectively.

26) If you want to choose another program, press F12 – this will change the emulated machine, visible on screen – keep pressing F12 until you get back to the 130XE, if desired – this will also force a re-load from the disk image. Note the key is mapped to F10, but (as with the actual machine) a cold boot is sometimes necessary for a full reset, which is accomplished using F12.

And there you have it! XFormer comes with excellent documentation – if using iFile, you can read XFORMER.TXT (present in your Atari directory) on your iOS device. Dospad has a message board that doesn’t get a huge amount of traffic, but serves as a good resource. You can find this by tapping the Settings icon (which looks like a gear or cog) and scrolling to the bottom of the screen. I’ve barely scratched the surface of what XFormer can do – the feature set and functionality is really quite incredible. From a 6502 Debug mode, to hot-swapping disk images, to loading single Atari files that are seen as Atari disk images – there’s quite a bit more here than I’m able to cover!

Feel free to experiment with different settings for Dospad – you can customize the configuration in-app by tapping the Settings icon and selecting “Customize Config.” Personally, I find that XFormer works best with Dospad CPU cycles set to 10000 – and the “core=dynamic” feature in the config file.

Here’s the relevant part of what my configuration file looks like:






# Try core=dynamic to improvement performance

# however, it doesn’t always work.

# so we are using simple core by default




An external/bluetooth keyboard -does- work with Dospad (and XFormer) but it’s not perfect. Keymapping, as I mentioned, is tough. The key is the biggest culprit I encounter when using an external keyboard — mapping it should be possible, but I haven’t been successful. I typed in a short program from the Atari Connection magazine, and was able to do the bulk of it with the external keyboard. When something like quotation marks were called for, a quick tap of the Shift + ” key with the iPad in portrait mode (and, thus, the keyboard visible) worked just fine. If you have a ton of “DATA” statements to do, no worries! Parentheses, on the other hand, are a different story.

This concludes the Atari Emulation on iOS guide. This version, 1.0, was originally written as a companion piece for the ANTIC Atari 8-bit podcast, in October 2014, by C. Olson. Except for the paid Cydia apps, all software that I have mentioned here is readily available and free of charge. Feel free to distribute this guide, but please do so in its entirety and provide attribution. Thanks for reading, and enjoy the Atari! -CGO

<< END Atari iOS Guide <<

Source:: IOS Atari Emulation Guide


ANTIC Interview 3 – The Atari 8-bit Podcast – John Henson

Kevin interviews John Henson – The New Aladdin Magazine

Download issues of The New Aladdin

Henson’s new venture, Nuvolibri

Source:: ANTIC Interview 3 – The Atari 8-bit Podcast – John Henson


ANTIC Interview 3 – The Atari 8-bit Podcast – John Henson

Kevin interviews John Henson about The New Aladdin Magazine

Download issues of The New Aladdin

Henson’s new venture, Nuvolibri

Source:: ANTIC Interview 3 – The Atari 8-bit Podcast – John Henson


ANTIC – The Atari 8-bit Podcast – Paul Laughton Interview

The Atari 400/800 and OSS at Paul’s web site

Atari BASIC Source Book

Paul’s BASIC for Android

Source:: ANTIC – The Atari 8-bit Podcast – Paul Laughton Interview


ANTIC Episode 15 – The Atari 8-bit Podcast – Gray Chang & Jonathan Halliday

On this episode of Antic, the Atari 8-bit PODCAST: We delve into the SIDE2 compact flash interface, look at arcade games ported to the 8-bits, discuss another new atari podcast, and interviews with Gray Chang — author of Claim Jumper — and Jonathan Halliday, creator of the new Atari GUI.


Links mentioned in this episode:


Recurring Links

Floppy Days Podcast

Kevins Book “Terrible Nerd”

New Atari books scans at

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge


What We’ve Been Up To

VCF Midwest 9.0

Jim Brain Retro Innovations

target=”_blank”>iTalk II Video on YouTube

Atari 800 with Encore Video Productions Info Display System

target=”_blank”>Covox VoiceMaster Video on YouTube



Atlanta Maker Faire





Retro Gamer Magazine

New Atari 8-bit Podcast Inverse Atascii

Mini Atari 800XL with Atari 1050 disk drive (3D printed) at MakerBot

Mini Atari 800XL with Atari 1050 disk drive (3D printed) Blog

Mini Atari 400 (3D printed) at MakerBot

Mini Atari 400 (3D printed) Blog

ABBUC 2014 Hardware contest entries

” target=”_blank”>SIO2BT (SIO to Bluetooth) at YouTube

SIO2BT Discussion at AtariAge

New keyboard interface for Atari 8-bit

WUDSN Atari 8-bit cross-compiling

New Cover for the 2nd Edition of Atari Inc. – Business Is Fun

Nolan Bushnell Reddit AMA

Atari User Magazine

HTML5 version of the classic Star Raiders that runs in your browser


Bill’s Modern Segment

Asteroids Emulator at AtariMania

Norbert’s Emulators page: Asteroids Emulator for the Atari 800XL

target=”_blank”>YouTube: Asteroids emulator on the Atari 800XL

Pac-Man Arcade Orders at AtariAge

AtariAge Forum: “Pac-man Update for Atari 8-bit”

The Pac-Man Dossier


Software of the Month



Hardware of the Month



Website of the Month

Lotharek’s Lair



target=”_blank”>McDonald’s Atari Commercial

AtariBBS by Thom Cherryhomes

target=”_blank”>AtariBBS ATA and ASC welcome screens

” target=”_blank”>AtariBBS BBSConf status

” target=”_blank”>AtariBBS User Module

” target=”_blank”>AtariBBS filemenu functionality

” target=”_blank”>AtariBBS flatmsg board functionality


Interview – Gray Chang

Gray Chang Website

another interview with Gray full version

Download APX programs


Interview – Jonathan Halliday

GUI Videos

Jonathan’s Website




Source:: ANTIC Episode 15 – The Atari 8-bit Podcast – Gray Chang & Jonathan Halliday


ANTIC Episode 14 – The Atari 8-bit Podcast – Kieren Hawken & Dale Yocum

On this episode of Antic, the Atari 8-bit codpast: interviews with atari author and enthusiast Kieren Hawken; and Dale Yocum, the guy who thought up Atari Program Exchange. And Bill kendrick complains and ends up with his own segment, reviewing Space harrier. . . And we don’t talk about the Atari Dump Dig.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Recurring Links

Floppy Days Podcast

Kevins Book “Terrible Nerd”

New Atari books scans at

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge

What We’ve Been Up To

Maker Faire Atlanta




Briel Computers

Ten Pence Arcade


Pro(c) Magazine

Euro 5,00 / World incl. postage. Payment by PayPal to

Source: ANTIC Episode 14 – The Atari 8-bit Podcast – Kieren Hawken & Dale Yocum