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RAM Expansion Required
Perkins Engineering

     Download digitally archived Bally Arcade/Astrocade programs that requires your unit to have a RAM expansion. These programs are marked with which version of BASIC the program requires to run properly, either AstroBASIC, Bally BASIC, Blue Ram BASIC, or Vipersoft BASIC. The program are also marked with which RAM expansion is required.

     Note that these programs will not work on an Astrocade that does not have expanded RAM.

2732 EPROM Programmer "2732 EPROM Programmer"
By Perkins Engineering.
Source: Ken Lill Collection.
Bally BASIC, 300-Baud.

This program will burn a 4K EPROM using the Blue Ram Interface and its EPROM burner expansion. This program must pre-date the Blue Ram Utility, which includes the ability to burn 2732 and 2764 EPROMs.

Load this into Bally BASIC with :INPUT. It starts with a machine language driver, and then includes a Bally BASIC program.

The utility requires a Blue RAM expansion and an EPROM burner. Without a compatible EPROM burner, the program could not be fully tested. Nonetheless, it is believed that this was archived correctly. While there was only have a single tape with it, the same results processing two different recordings of it. I also got no error messages either processing it or loading it. The program displays a menu and behaves sensibly, i.e. if I ask it to compare the ROM and RAM, it tells me they don't match. However, since it is unknown if the program processed correctly, both a digitally archived and RAW version of the software is included.

Artillery Duel "Artillery Duel"
By Perkins Engineering (John Perkins).
Source: Various (See text file in archive).
Various Formats.

This archive contains various versions of "Artillery Duel," which was eventually released as a cartridge by Astrocade.

Bally Writer "Bally Writer"
By Clyde Perkins Perkins Engineering.
Source: To-Add.
Blue RAM BASIC, 16K, 2000 baud.

This program allows the user to write notes and letters which can be printed.

Blue Ram BSR Controller Software "Blue Ram - BSR Controller" Software
By Perkins Engineering.
Bally BASIC with 4K (or more?) Blue Ram Expansion Unit.
Recording Speed: 300-Baud.

The Blue Ram BSR controller is an ultrasonic interface between the Blue Ram and the BSR X-10 home controller system. This combination allows the user to control lamps, overhead lights, and appliances under direction from your Bally Arcade. Up to sixteen "devices" may be controlled and may be anywhere on the common power line.

Notes by Paul Thacker (June 28, 2013): This software was archived from the commercial tape in the Bob Fabris' collection. The tape also had "12-10" handwritten on it.

Blue Ram BSR Controller Owner's Manual

Blue RAM Diagnostic "Blue RAM Diagnostic"
By Perkins Engineering.
Bally BASIC, 300-Baud/2000-baud.

The BLUE RAM DIAGNOSTIC tests all memory and I/O ports in the BLUE RAM. A complete test should take about 15 seconds to perform. If all memory and I/O ports test out OK, the program will print ALL TESTS PASSED at the bottom of the screen. Pressing the "1" key or the SPACE key will start the testing process over. Most any other key will acknowledge the current printed message and continue to the next test step. The only step following ALL TESTS PASSED is the last message END OF TESTS.

The "Blue RAM Diagnostic" instructions and LISTIing are here:
  1. Blue RAM Diagnostic Instructions
  2. Blue RAM Diagnostic BASIC LISTing
Blue RAM Modem Controller "Blue RAM Modem Controller"
By Perkins Engineering.
Source: Commercial tape in Bob Fabris' Collection.
Bally BASIC, 300-Baud
Requirements: Blue Ram Interface, Modem/Printer Interface, and Modem

This program allows you to use a Star modem with the Bally Arcade using the Blue Ram Modem/Printer interface. Load into Bally BASIC with :INPUT.

For in-depth information on how to use this software, read the manual for the modem/printer interface, which is available here:
  1. Blue Ram Modem Interface Owner's Manual
Blue RAM OS 1.0 "Blue Ram OS 1.0"
By Perkins Engineering.
Bally BASIC with 4K (or more?) Blue Ram Expansion Unit.
Recording Speed: 300-Baud.

     Most users of the Blue Ram expansion unit are aware of "Blue Ram BASIC 1.1," as eventually it became Perkin Engineering's standard method to program any extended RAM beyong the original 4K that shipped with the Bally Arcade/Astrocade console. The program that first shipped on 300-baud tape allowed BASIC users to access extended memory, "Blue Ram OS 1.0," is a hybrid between Bally BASIC and newly written routines which allow access to extended RAM.

     "Blue Ram OS 1.0" is not similar AT ALL to "Blue Ram BASIC 1.1." If you read through the "Blue Ram OS 1.0" documentation then you'll see that you would have had access to 1.8K of RAM (the screen RAM normally available to BASIC), plus another 3.8K of RAM available on the Blue Ram unit (meaning this was meant for the first Blue Ram expansions shipped). It seems that using "Blue Ram OS 1.0" would have popped you in and out of Bally BASIC and the Blue Ram OS depending on what you were doing. This operating system definitely seems like a stop-gap measure so that people that bought the Blue Ram expansion would have SOME way to use it besides only programming it in machine language. Giving BASIC users access to extended RAM was a great idea. This program was eventually followed up with "Blue Ram BASIC 1.1," which was a full-fledged BASIC that didn't require "Bally BASIC" at all.

     The brief, 5-page instructions for this preliminary operating system for the original 4K Blue Ram expansion unit are here:

     "Blue Ram OS 1.0" Instructions

Blue Ram Utility "Blue RAM Utility"
By Perkins Engineering.
198x (Various).
Source: Various (See Archive for Details).
Blue Ram BASIC, 300/2000-Baud.

The "Blue Ram Utility," first released in 1980, is a powerful environment for Z80 machine-code programming on a Bally Arcade/Astrocade with a Blue Ram expansion and extra RAM. The utility was improved with each release over the next couple of years. By 1983, the Blue Ram Utility included a full-featured (full-screen) hex editor that utilized a small font, use of a modem, use of an EPROM burner, a disassembler, and the ability to test RAM in the Blue Ram as if it were a cartridge. Other related capabilities made this the best way to program in Z80 machine language on the Bally Arcade!

Seven version of the "Blue Ram Utility" are included in this archive. Documentation for the "Utility" is available here:
  1. Blue Ram Utility Instructions
Copy Cart To 8K "Copy Cart To 8K"
By Perkins Engineering.
Source: Ken Lill's Tape Collection.
AstroBASIC, 2000-Baud, Blue Ram Interface.

This is an AstroBASIC program that copies programs to the 8K area and burns EPROMS. This an Expanded RAM program, as even if it runs in the allotted 4K of RAM, it can't possibly function correctly without the Blue Ram.

Keyboard Driver Program "Blue Ram Keyboard Driver Program"
By Perkins Engineering.
Required: Bally BASIC, Blue Ram Interface, and Blue Ram Keyboard.
Archived at the CinciClassic convention and from Tape in Ken Lill's Collection.
Recording Speed: 300-Baud.

     This Blue RAM Keyboard Driver is for use with Bally BASIC. Matthew Knapp and Paul Thacker archived and tested this at the CinciClassic convention in April of 2006.

     This program was also found in Ken Lill's tape collection on tape with type-written label that says:

     CALL 28416

     The tape also had "1/14" written in pencil. The contents are identical to the version archived from Matthew Knapp's tape at the CinciClassic convention and tested at the show.

     An alternate version was also found in Ken Lill's tape collection on tape with type-written label that says only "BLUE RAM - KEYBOARD", with "CALL 28416" penciled in.

     In October of 2010, Richard Degler extracted the BALLY Basic keyboard driver for this program. This disassembly is quite extensive and, like all of Richard's disassembly work, is very well commented. Included in that archive are:

     KEYBOARD.PRG (the tape contents - not really a program but direct commands)
     KEYBOARD.TXT (the raw Basic listing with a data block in the middle)
     KEYBOARD.ASM (the disassembly of the driver itself)

     The disassembly can be downloaded here:

     Blue Ram Keyboard Driver Disassembly

Envelope Addresser (modified) "Envelope Addresser" (modified)
By Perkins Engineering (Clyde Perkins), Modified by Mike White.
Blue Ram BASIC, 2000-Baud.

Not much is known about this program. Mike White does mention it in one of his 1986 fliers. He says:

"Secondly, both of these fliers were made ENTIRELY on the arcade. I used a BLUE RAM, and NEC PC-8023A-N printer (same as the "PROWRITER"), SNOOP CAMERA, LETTER WRITER, and ENVELOPE ADDRESSER."

You can see view Mike's complete flier here:
  1. Mike White Flier
High-Med Res Bally BASICs "High Res Bally BASIC" / "Variable Rez BASIC"
By John Perkins.
Source: Ken Lill Collection.
300-Baud and 2000-Baud.

These are John Perkins' customized versions of BASIC designed for his high-resolution Astrocade modification. They have been modified to use High-Res and Medium-Res modes.

The Perkins Hi-Res Board is the standard Bally Motherboard with 39 ICs added to exploit the high resolution capability of the Bally custom chips (most ICs piggy-back onto existing chips). Many extra connections are made to make the item "work." When powered up, the picture normally seen filling the screen is reduced to one-fourth the size, and occupies the upper left quadrant of the screen. Resolution mode is software selectable at low-res (normal, 160x102) for existing programs, medium (160x204, similar to Mattel Intellivision), and high (320x204, better than Apple II). The 39 chips include an EPROM for firmware support of the new modes and 12K of additional memory. The software mode selection allows the individual program to choose its own resolution for full compatibility with existing game cartridges and Bally BASIC. - ARCADIAN, 3, no. 6 (April 15, 1981): 63.

Links about the High-Res version of the Astrocade:
  1. High-Res Astrocade - Pictures of Astrocade modified for High-Res Mode.
  2. High-Res Packages - In-depth documents created by Michael C. Matte in 1986 to convert an Astrocade to use high-resolution mode.
  3. High-Res Bally BASIC Tape - A picture of the tape that contains the "High Res Bally BASIC."
  4. Variable Rez BASIC Tape - A picture of the tape that contains the "Variable Rez BASIC."
  5. Bally Professional Arcade Video Hardware FAQ - Description of the Bally Professional Arcade Video Hardware and Associated [Hi-Res] Coin-Operated Hardware.
Letter Writer "Letter Writer"
By Perkins Engineering and Mike White.
Source: To-Add.
Blue RAM BASIC, 2000 baud.


Music Compiler (with Sarabande) "Music Compiler (with Sarabande)"
By Perkins Engineering.
Source: Ken Lill's collection
BALLY BASIC, 300 baud.

The first mention of this program is in Arcadian volume 2, issue 10, page 97, in which Perkins Engineering describes upcoming software for use with the Blue Ram expansion:

"Then we will provide the software necessary to have the Blue Ram act as a compiler for music programs. Using Processor Technology format, one can simply enter musical selections and the software will convert that into the proper language that the Bally can understand."

The only music I found for this is Sarabande. Handel composed a song named Sarabande, so this fits with the newsletter. Unfortunately, the versions of Sarabande and Music Compiler seem to be incompatible.

For additional information, read the full notes included in the archive.

O-Jello "O-Jello"
By Clyde Perkins.
Source: To-Add.
Blue RAM BASIC, 2000 baud.


Othello "Othello"
By Clyde Perkins and Bruce Brigden.
Source: To-Add.
Blue RAM BASIC, 2000 baud.


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