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June 21, 2022

  1. Added "Astrocade Keypad Matrix" by MCM Design.

    This document serves a dual intent; providing information to help an Astrocade user who wants to rewire an upgraded remote 24-key keyboard to be compatible as a substitute for the Astrocade built-in keypad or desires to strip down the keypad to repair a keypad matrix issue.

    1. Astrocade Keypad Matrix

Febuary 19, 2022

  1. Added "Perkins Medium-Res Mode: A Commentary" by MCM Design.

    This document will give the reader a fundamental grasp of the Perkins medium-resolution theory of operation. Med-Res is a mode which is only available on the Perkins Hi-Res unit; the Astrocade chipset does not support it natively.

    1. Perkins Medium-Res Mode: A Commentary

December 19, 2021

  1. Added four photos of Michael Matte's remote Z80 CPU wire wrapped prototype board.

    1. Remote Z80 CPU Diagnostic Board

December 17, 2021

  1. Added a Conan promotional sticker.

    This sticker was archived by Paul Thacker on December 11, 2021. He said, "Promotional sticker for the unreleased Conan game for the Astrocade. According to the seller, this was a snipe intended to be placed on a Conan movie poster in theaters."

    1. Conan Promotional Sticker
  2. Added high-quality photographs of the Sea Devil and Ms. Candyman cartridges from L&M Software for the Astrocade console taken in natural light.

    As the gold labels are quite shiny, these may give a better representation of what they look like than the scans I made separately do.

    1. Ms. Candyman - Cartridge Pictures
    2. Sea Devil - Cartridge Pictures

December 15, 2021

  1. Updated The Tiny Arcade's "Fireworks" AstroBASIC program. This is Tom McConnell's artistic demonstration from October 1982. The version of the program from Tape 103 has been added to the archive, as well as a BASIC listing and a screenshot.

    Fireworks shoots different colored fireworks into the air and there are some explosion sounds. Lance Square says, "[I] had never seen the fireworks prog before. Simplistic by todays standards, but manages to get 4 (or more?) colours out of BASIC." On July 4, 2002, The Tiny Arcade's "Fireworks" became the first Bally Arcade/Astrocade program ever to be digitally archived.

    1. Fireworks - Tiny Arcade (2000-Baud)

December 14, 2021

  1. Added a link to some alternate scans of the Arcadian newsletter on Archive.org, made in color and grayscale, which can sometimes make the B&W newsletter easier to read.

    1. Arcadian Newsletter Area - The link to the alternate scans are at the top of the page.
  2. Added the manual in text format for "Coyote Roadrunner Desert Race/Atom Smasher" by L&M Software.

    1. Coyote Roadrunner Desert Race/Atom Smasher (Manual) by L&M Software
  3. Added the manual in text format for "Mind Bender" by L&M Software.

    1. Mind Bender (Manual) by L&M Software
  4. Added pictures of the tape and its packaging for The Tiny Arcade's Tape 103, which includes the programs: Art Show, Fireworks and Vindicator.

    1. Tape 103 by Tiny Arcade

December 13, 2021

  1. Added pictures of the box for Speed Math/Bingo Math from the Astrovision, Inc. An archive of many pictures of the packaging for this game is also available. It includes various pictures of the box from different angles and more.

    1. "Speed Math/Bingo Math" Box
  2. Added a high-resolution scan of a rare version of the "Star Battle" cartridge. This version does not include part #2005 on the label.

    1. "Star Battle" Cartridge - Alt. Version
  3. Added an alternate version of the "Star Battle" instructions from Bally.

    Bally sold their games in blister packs with small folded instructions. These instructions typically had color graphics on the front. The instructions here are a rare variation with no graphics.

    1. "Star Battle" Instructions - Bally version with no picture on the front

December 12, 2021

  1. Added the Astrovision version of the manual for cartridge #4001, "Speed Math/Bingo Math."

    "Two fun-packed, fast-paced games sharpen basic math skills. Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division are the key ingredients. The faster you answer, the more points you get. As the score grows higher, the problems get harder. The computer automatically adjusts the skill levels to challenge players equally. A great teaching tool!"

    1. "Speed Math/Bingo Math" Manual
  2. Added a picture of the Astrovision release of the "Speed Math/Bingo Math" cartridge.

    Although this cartridge was renamed on the Astrovision manual from Bally's title of "Elementary Math/Bingo Math" to "Speed Math/Bingo Math," the cartridge's label remained the same.

    1. "Speed Math/Bingo Math" cartridge

December 8, 2021

  1. Added an AstroBASIC game called "Tic Tac Toe" by E. Schoo. This is a simple, two-player game of Tic-Tac-Toe. The archive has the instructions recorded as an audio file and a transcription is also included.

    Paul Thacker noted on December 6, 2021: "This program seems to be completely unknown, and a quick search didn't reveal anything about the programmer. This is a reminder that for all the programs published or advertised in a newsletter, there were probably many more that people just experimented with on their own. [...] So far as I can tell, this program was never published. The tape was included with an eBay purchase, but no further details of the source are known."

    1. "Tic Tac Toe" by E. Schoo
  2. Added links to Michael Matte's YouTube videos.

    Michael Matte began filming a series of videos in March 2021. He gives overviews and insights into his high-res Astrocade hardware. These videos can be viewed on Michael's YouTube channel:

    1. MCMs Astrocades Videos

December 7, 2021

  1. Added Midland Distributing-Premium Division Flyer and Order Form.

    "Santa's Stocking Stuffers" three-page cartridge description list ("the list of fabulous cassettes now available from Astrocade") and an order form. This flyer has an order that was placed for nine cartridges. "Santa's price" for the Professional arcade is $29.98 and there are about 20 cartridges, including third-party cartridges, that are on sale for $4.99.

    1. Midland Distributing-Premium Division Flyer and Order Form

December 3, 2021

  1. Added "Astrocade Last Chance Sale" letter/flyer from BDI/Astrocade Offer. This is from around 1982 or 1983. It begins "Final Close-Out of Astrocade Merchandise - Everything Must Go!!!"

    Purchase an Astrocade system, complete with 20 different cartridges for only $100! (Shipping and handling an additional $10,- California residents please add sales tax.) Each Astrocade comes complete with 2 hand controls, 3 built-in games and calculator, power supply, TV adaptor, and Zap, Seawolf, Clowns, Star Battle, Astro Battle, Dog Patch, Galactic Invasion, Space Fortress, Grand Prix, Pirates Chase, Wizard, Solar Conquerors, Cosmic Raiders, Baseball, Football, Bally Pin, Letter Match, Bio-Rhythm, Maze, and Basic (program your own games).

    1. "Astrocade Last Chance Sale" Letter/Flyer

December 2, 2021

  1. Added a size-reduced Bally Computer System Specifications Brochure from 1979 that was available from Bally Consumer Products Division.

    These two pages appeared in ARCADIAN 1, no. 3 (Jan. 13, 1979): 21-22. This is a reduced-sized reprint of a brochure that Bob Fabris received at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, NV in January 1979.

    This four-page brochure contains a comparison table of the Bally Computer System, which includes the Video Console and Programmer's Keyboard, against attributes of other current systems of the time period such as the Apple II, Commodore PET, Radio Shack TRS-80 Level II, Exidy Sorcerer, and Compucolor Renaissance. The features compared are CPU, Program Storage, Inputs, Outputs, Multi-Source of Attachments (i.e. RS-232 or S-100 bus) and Price.

    1. Bally Computer System Specifications Brochure - Size-Reduced
    2. Bally Computer System Specifications Brochure - Full-Size

December 1, 2021

  1. Added a pamphlet from 1978, possibly from JS&A or Bally, called "Questions & Answers about the Bally Arcade Home Computer-Video Game."

    "This is the story of an incredible product. So incredible that we know of no future consumer product that will have such a far-reaching technological impact on society.

    "The Bally Home Computer is a small console unit that resembles a programmable TV game but whose computing capabilities resemble that of the IBM 5100 currently selling for $10,000. This calculating power and its present and future programs will provide more convenience and benefits than any other recent electronic product."

    1. Questions & Answers about the Bally Arcade Home Computer-Video Game

November 30, 2021

  1. Added an L&M Software catalog from June 1, 1981.

    This five-page software catalog has descriptions and artist-rendered "screenshots" for about 20 games for the Bally Arcade/Astrocade that were released by L&M Software for Bally BASIC on cassette tapes.

    1. L&M Software catalog

November 29, 2021

  1. Added the manual for Star Trek and Mini Golf by Esoterica. These games were released in 1981.

    The manual includes the instructions for both games. Star Trek is also known as Starship Command.

    1. Star Trek and Mini Golf Manual by Esoterica

November 20, 2021

  1. Added 22 pictures of cassette tapes and cases from the Paul Zibits Collection.

    These cassette tapes were archived from the collection of Paul Zibits from August to October 2021 by Paul Thacker.

    1. Paul Zibits Tape Collection
  2. Added a short FAQ called "Bally Arcade/Astrocade Standard Color Values (with Vectorscope Values)."

    In 1979, Don Wurst used a Tektronix 520A vectorscope with a standard TV demodulator and found eight standard luminance values of the Bally Arcade/Astrocade to be as close as possible to the standard NTSC color values. Those values are included here.

    1. Bally Arcade/Astrocade Standard Color Values (with Vectorscope Values)

November 18, 2021

  1. Updated the Bally BASIC archive for the 1980 game "Air Traffic Controller" by W&W Software Sales (Bob Weber). This originally was available for 25 cents with the request of a W&W Software Sales catalog.

    You have control of the air space surrounding an airport indicated by # on your radar. There are six entry and exit points on the radar, and also a beacon indicated by *. When a plane requests entry to your airspace, it will appear in the lower-right-hand-corner in the form of a four digit number. The first digit is the plane's number, the second is his altitude, the third his entry point, and the fourth, his destination. The number 7 indicates the airport.

    1. Air Traffic Controller by W&W Software Sales (300-BAUD)

November 17, 2021

  1. Added "Slot Machine" by Ernie Sams. This originally appeared in ARCADIAN 1, no. 8 (Jul. 20, 1979): 59., making it one of the earliest BASIC games for the Bally Arcade. There may be more of these slot machine games than any other genre on the Astrocade.

    Arcade Slot Machine - Knob #1 lets you bet from $1 to $10. Pull the trigger to place your bet. There are lots of winning combinations. A cherry in the left window always is a winner; but a lemon in the left window never wins.

    1. Slot Machine by Ernie Sams (300-BAUD)

November 15, 2021

  1. Added "Reverse" by Karl H. Wilvert. This originally appeared in CURSOR 2, no. 2 (September 1980): 59-60.

    This game teaches number relationships by having the player rearrange the list in the proper order. This is done by reversing leading portions of the list.

    1. Reverse by Karl H. Wilvert (300-BAUD)

November 12, 2021

  1. Added an alternate version of "Microtrek" by Bill Andrus. This originally appeared in ARCADIAN 1, no. 11 (Oct. 31, 1979): 88-89.

    Microtrek is a very small but interesting version of the Star-Trek game. This version was originally shared by the North Carolina TRS-80 User Group. In playing, watch your energy level and remaining time.

    1. Microtrek by Bill Andrus (300-BAUD)

November 11, 2021

  1. Added "Hamurabi" by Paul_Zibits. This is a previously unpublished 300-BAUD, Bally BASIC program from the Paul Zibits Collection.

    Govern Ancient Sumeria for a ten year term. Prevent the population from starving and keep your country growing.

    1. Hamurabi by Paul_Zibits (300-BAUD)

November 10, 2021

  1. Added an alternate version of "Fantasy People" to the "Fantasy Game Package" by Guy McLimore Jr. This 300-BAUD, Bally BASIC program was originally advertised in ARCADIAN 1, no. 7 (Jun 15, 1979): 54.

    A fantasy game package for advanced players for those who enjoy the Dragon/Dungeon type of operation.

    1. Fantasy Game Package by Guy McLimore Jr (300-BAUD)
  2. Reorganized the L&M Software, Bally BASIC, 300-Baud program area .

    1. L&M Bally BASIC, 300-Baud Software Area

November 9, 2021

  1. Added "Dave's RND Color Device" by an unknown author. This is a previously unpublished 300-BAUD, Bally BASIC program from the Paul Zibits Collection.

    This simple video art program clears the screen then draws random lines on a solid background. The lines vary in length and color and the background changes color quickly. The program seems to run forever and the screen is never cleared after the program begins. Therefore, the screen eventually becomes a clutter of overwritten lines.

    1. Dave's RND Color Device by Unknown Author (300-BAUD)
  2. Added the manual for "Coyote Roadrunner Desert Race/Atom Smasher" by L&M Software.

    1. Coyote Roadrunner Desert Race/Atom Smasher (Manual) by L&M Software
  3. Added the manual for "Mind Bender" by L&M Software.

    1. Mind Bender (Manual) by L&M Software
  4. Added the manual and for "Space Sleuth/Fox & the Hare" by L&M Software. Also added three pages of extras for the game. There is a small page that says "Private Questions," another that's "Rules and Explanations" and there is a stack of sheets that the player would fill out as the game is played. The "Private Questions" sheet has a piece of red cellophane stapled to it.

    1. Space Sleuth/Fox & the Hare (Manual) by L&M Software
    2. Space Sleuth (Extras) by L&M Software

November 8, 2021

  1. Added an alternate version of "Connect Four" by Robert Leake. This 300-BAUD, Bally BASIC type-in program was originally printed in CURSOR 2, no. 1 (August 1980): 51-54. It was reprinted in ARCADIAN 6, no. 9 (Jul. 27, 1984): 79-88.

    The object of this game is to get four of your playing pieces in a row (without any of your opponent's pieces in between) vertically, horizontally or diagonally before the computer or your human opponent does.

    1. Connect Four by Robert Leake (300-BAUD)

November 7, 2021

  1. Added an alternate version of "Color Wheel" by Dick Ainsworth. This 300-BAUD, Bally BASIC type-in program was printed in 1978's Bally BASIC Manual on pages 97 and 113 and 1981's AstroBASIC Manual and page 65.

    Here is a color wheel you will use often because it helps you select colors and their numbers. Moving the number one joystick left and right selects the color. Moving it forward and backward selects the intensity. Pulling the trigger gives you a printout on the screen that shows that particular color number (0 to 31) color intensity (0 to 7) and the computer number (0 to 255). These numbers refer to the background color only. The foreground color is adjusted automatically so that you can read the numbers.

    1. Color Wheel by Dick Ainsworth (300-BAUD)
  2. Added "The Guard" (possibly known as "Crossfire") by an unknown author (possibly Super Software). This 2000-Baud, AstroBASIC game was published in the late 1970s or early 1980s. It was archived from a tape in the Nate Reeder Collection.

    You can move the character sprite up and down with the joystick. The screen wraps at the top and bottom. You can fire left or right with the joystick. Enemies approach from the side, which you can shoot to gain oxygen. Sometimes lasers fire at you from the side. Occasionally, obstacles pop up along your path that you have to avoid, or more helpfully extra oxygen pickups. You lose a life when you get hit or run out of oxygen.

    1. The Guard by Unknown (2000-BAUD)

November 6, 2021

  1. Added an alternate version of "Bangman" by Ernie Sams. This 300-BAUD, Bally BASIC type-in program was printed in ARCADIAN 1, no. 7 (Jun 15, 1979): 47-49.

    "Bangman" is a take-off on the classic Hangman word spelling game. It has two novel features - letters being entered are hidden from view of the opposing player - and the penalty for losing is not a hanging...

    1. Bangman by Ernie Sams (300-BAUD)
  2. Added an alternate version of "Black Box" by B. Reany. This 300-BAUD, Bally BASIC type-in program was printed in ARCADIAN 1, no. 9 (Aug. 18, 1979): 74.

    "Black Box" is a sort of Battleship game where the computer hides some "atoms" in a grid and you have to locate them. Use the diagram for clues.

    1. Black Box by B. Reany (300-BAUD)

November 4, 2021

  1. Added an alternate version of "Arcade Golf" by Mike Maslowski. This 300-BAUD, Bally BASIC type-in program was printed in CURSOR 1, no. 6 (July 1980): 42-45.

    Notes from the CURSOR newsletter: "This is one of the most innovative programs that we have seen written for Ballys' 2K. This game utilizes graphics; allows you to select from 14 clubs, has doglegs, water hazards, sand traps, roughs, wind effect, and penalties. If you play golf, this program is a must! If you don't, this program will turn you into a "hacker" in no time at all."

    1. Arcade Golf by Mike Maslowski (300-BAUD)

November 3, 2021

  1. Added an alternate version of "aMAZEd in SPACE" by Aquila and Richard Houser. This 300-BAUD, Bally BASIC type-in program was printed in ARCADIAN 1, no. 8 (Jul. 20, 1979): 58, 60-61.

    Amazed in Space is a rocketship-thru-the-maze challenge with a number of levels of difficulty.

    1. aMAZEd in SPACE by Aquila and Richard Houser (300-BAUD)

November 2, 2021

  1. Added an alternate version of "Russian Roulette" by W&W Software Sales (Bob Weber). This 300-BAUD, Bally BASIC program was released in 1979 on Tape 4.

    Push joystick to spin chamber, pull trigger to fire! LotsALuck!

    1. Russian Roulette by W&W Software Sales (300-BAUD)
  2. Added a picture of John Perkins, of Perkins Engineering, with his friend Len Brightman.

    1. John Perkins Photograph

November 1, 2021

  1. Added an alternate version of "Cylon Raiders" by W&W Software Sales (Bob Weber). This 300-BAUD, Bally BASIC program was released in 1979 on Tape 4.

    You are in a viper and the crosshairs on your scope are moved with the joystick. When the Cylon is in the center of your scope you pull the trigger to shoot him down.

    1. Cylon Raiders by W&W Software Sales (300-BAUD)

October 31, 2021

  1. Added an alternate version of "Checkers" by W&W Software Sales (Bob Weber). This 300-BAUD, Bally BASIC program was released in 1979 on Tape 4. Includes a short evaluation of the BASIC program by Ken Lill.

    This one player checkers program uses the hand controller to control the game. Double and triple jumps are controlled automatically.

    1. Checkers by W&W Software Sales (300-BAUD)

October 30, 2021

  1. Added a Bally BASIC listing of 1980's "Starship Bally" by Super Software (Robert Rosenhouse).

    1. Starship Bally (BASIC Listing) by Super Software
  2. Added an alternate version of the Bally BASIC, 300-BAUD game "Bowling" by W&W Software Sales. This version has a few differences from the previously archived version. One change fixes a problem with clearing the screen when the game begins.

    1. Bowling (300-Baud) by W&W Software Sales
  3. Added an AstroBASIC conversion of the Bally BASIC game "Starship Bally" that was released in 1980 by Super Software (Robert Rosenhouse).

    1. Starship Bally (2000-Baud) by Super Software

October 29, 2021

  1. Added "[Mortgage] Amortization Program" by W&W Software Sales (Bob Weber). This 300-BAUD, Bally BASIC program was released in 1979 on Tape 6.

    This program calculates an amortization schedule. It accepts principle, interest, payment and number of months until the loan is paid off in-full. Notably missing is the ability to input an initial down payment. After some calculation time, the program prints a complete table of periodic loan payments to the screen.

    1. [Mortgage] Amortization Program by W&W Software Sales (300-BAUD)

October 28, 2021

  1. Added the complete tape that accompanies the 12-page "XY Tutorial" by Seebee's Computing that Timothy Hays wrote in 1979.

    This tape contains six Bally BASIC demonstrations programs. The code is all identical to that previously archived, but to fully reproduce the tape structure, including comments outside of programs, the .prg file and .txt file of the full tape were archived. For loading programs, the previously archived versions, included in the archive, should be used.

    1. "XY Tutorial" Tape by Sebree's Computing (300-BAUD)

October 27, 2021

  1. Added "Sea Battle" by Scott Waldinger. This is a Bally BASIC game released in 1979.

    You are the captain of the ship that is on the top. The object of SEA BATTLE is to destroy as many subs as you can before you are destroyed.

    1. "Sea Battle" by Scott Waldinger (300-BAUD)

October 16, 2021

  1. Added "Horse Race" by Scott Waldinger. This is a Bally BASIC game released in 1979.

    The odds for six horses are shown at the beginning of the game and then the player(s) choose to bet on one of them. The bugle sounds-off and the race begins. The horse "graphics" are represented by six numbers that race (move horizontally) across the screen. Will your horse come through for you this time? Will you lose this week's paycheck or can you break the bank?

    1. "Horse Race" by Scott Waldinger (300-BAUD)

October 15, 2021

  1. Added on-tape BASIC instructions and an alternate version of "Super Wumpus" by Sebree's Computing. This is a Bally BASIC game released in 1979.

    The object of this game is to hunt the Wumpus by moving into a new room each turn and avoiding the hazards. When you think you know where he is, you shoot into that room with one of your three arrows. Each turn, you either move or shoot in one of the three rooms. The Wumpus lives in a cave of 20 rooms. Each room has three tunnels leading to other rooms.

    1. "Super Wumpus" by Sebree's Computing (300-BAUD)

October 14, 2021

  1. Added "UFO Battle" by Sebree's Computing. This is a Bally BASIC game released in 1979.

    This game description is from an advertisement in CURSOR 1, no. 3S (March 1980): 3.: "This game has very dramatic explosions, utilizing color, graphics and sound. The UFO is a different shape every time you destroy one, but it isn't that easy, because at the same time he is trying to shoot you down. A good game for competing against points. Fast running."

    1. "UFO Battle" by Sebree's Computing (300-BAUD)

October 13, 2021

  1. Added the Bally BASIC, 300-BAUD version of "Brain Bender" by W&W Software Sales.

    The object of the game is to change the positions of the boxes so that the center is empty, and all the other squares are filled. This is done by moving the flashing box with the hand controller, and pulling the trigger.

    1. Brain Bender by W&W Software Sales (300-Baud)
  2. Added documentation for W&W Software Sales Tapes 1-7. These include Bally BASIC instructions for 35 programs.

    1. W&W Software Sales Tapes Instructions
  3. Added a working, complete version of the Bally BASIC, 300-BAUD "Enhanced Lunar Lander" by W&W Software Sales.

    1. Enhanced Lunar Lander (300-Baud)

October 12, 2021

  1. Added an alternate 300-baud, Bally BASIC version of Othello by W&W Software Sales from 1979.

    1. Othello by W&W Software Sales (300-Baud)
  2. Added the Bally BASIC, 300-BAUD version of "Star Wars" by Scott Waldinger. This program was advertised in ARCADIAN 1, no. 8 (Jul. 20, 1979): 68. This was previously only available as source code scan.

    The object of Star Wars is to destroy as many Tie fighters as you can before you are destroyed.

    1. Star Wars by Scott Waldinger
  3. Added an alternate color scan of the documentation for "Fantasy Game Package" by Guy McLimore Jr. from 1978 and 1979.

    1. Fantasy Game Package by Guy McLimore Jr.

October 7, 2021

  1. Added the AstroBASIC version of "Lazer Blazer" by Super Software (Robert Rosenhouse). This program is from ARCADIAN 5, no. 6 (Apr. 4, 1983): 102-103.

    Lazer Blazer is a game of skill. The object is to destroy each of the lazer outposts before being hit yourself. It was inspired by Activision's "Laser Blast" on the Atari 2600.

    1. Super Software Download Area (2000-Baud)

October 5, 2021

  1. Added game descriptions for Super Software's Bally BASIC, 300-baud games that have been taken from advertisements (SOURCEBOOK, Summer 1982 and Spring 1984) and brief overviews (SOURCEBOOK, Fall 1980). Previously, this software section of programs (mostly from the first nine tapes) had a list of program names with only links. Now each program has a brief description.

    1. Super Software Download Area (300-Baud)

September 10, 2021

  1. Added an interview conducted in August/September 2021 by Paul Thacker with Dale Low of Astrogames.

    Dale Low was the programmer for Astrogames. Astrogames published tape collections including games like Multi-Adventure, Defense Pro, Metro Attack, Night Bombers, Star Wahs, Wah's Revenge, and Super Pac. He kindly agreed to answer a few questions.

    1. Interview with Dale Low of Astrogames

August 19, 2021

  1. Added "Plain BASIC Talk: A Remake of Scott Waldinger's "Startrek." This article was written by Ken Lill in August 2021.

    This article gives some tips to Bally/Astro BASIC programmers for speeding up programs and some space saving techniques using Startrek as a programming example.

    1. "Plain BASIC Talk: A Remake of Scott Waldinger's 'Startrek.'"

July 31, 2021

  1. Added "Plain BASIC Talk: Stack Woes, When Things are STACKed Against You!" This article was written by Ken Lill in July 2021.

    If you are newish to BASIC programming with the either the Bally or Astrocade BASIC cartridges, there are a couple of things you will need to know about the STACK. This article gives you an overview of how the stack is affected when using BASIC.

    1. "Plain BASIC Talk: Stack Woes, When Things are STACKed Against You!"

July 16, 2021

  1. Added a Bally BASIC program from 1980 called "Decode" by John Collins. This is a type-in BASIC listing.

    Decode is a utility program. This program will decode information stored in memory. You enter the decimal location of memory and the binary # and the hexadecimal # for that location and the next highest location is printed out. This utility program is useful for machine language programming. It is also useful for understanding how the Bally works.

    1. "Decode" by John Collins
  2. Added a color scan of the August 1980 of the Cursor newsletter. Thanks to Nate Reeder for providing me with this scan from his original issue.

    This issue of the Cursor newsletter used methods to help prevent people from photocopying and sharing it. Pages 52 and 53 are notoriously difficult to read. The ink used on these two pages, which contained programs to type in, was light blue with orange bands running the length of the page. This was done as a means of copy protection; it made photocopying the newsletter much more difficult.

    1. CURSOR 2, no. 1 (August 1980): 49-56. - Color Scan

July 15, 2021

  1. Added "Screen Display with Memory Save" by Brett Bilbrey from 198x. This program is from the Bob Fabris Collection. It seems to be previously unpublished.

    This routine places by actual HL location. This routine will display 11001100 on the screen as 1010. Inputs: Takes Byte in Accumulator and places on screen at HL.

    1. "Screen Display with Memory Save" by Brett Bilbrey

July 14, 2021

  1. Added an ad from the November 1978 issue of "GQ" magazine called "Introducing Fun & Brains."

    This ad is touting the newly-released cartridge, Bally BASIC. I also cropped the 2"x2" part of the ad that is the Bally Family so that I could include their happy faces here.

    1. "Introducing Fun & Brains" Ad

July 13, 2021

  1. Added 39 screenshots created using the Z-GRASS language and Datamax's UV-1R computer.

    These are from the Datamax UV-1 Folder nicknamed "Datamax Presents Living Art."

    1. 39 Screenshots from Datamax UV-1 Folder

July 10, 2021

  1. Added twelve screenshots created using the Z-GRASS language and Datamax's UV-1R computer.

    These screenshots were clipped and cropped from two different Datamax UV-1R computer flyers from the early 1980s (probably around 1983).

    1. Six screenshots from Datamax UV-1R Zgrass Computer Flyer
    2. Six screenshots from Datamax UV-1R Zgrass Graphics Flyer

July 9, 2021

  1. Added a Datamax, Inc. price list from January 15, 1983 with revisions from 1984.

    This is the Datamax UV-1R price list from January 15, 1983, but it has hand-written revisions for price reductions. This was sent to Michael Matte in July 1984 when he was inquiring about purchasing UV-1 blueprints.

    1. Datamax, Inc. Price List, January 15, 1983 (with 1984 Revisions)
  2. Added Datamax UV-1R Zgrass Graphics Computer Flyer.

    The UV-1R Zgrass Graphics Computer puts computer graphics capabilities into the hands of the graphic artist. The UV-1R uses advanced video game technology and the powerful Zgrass language to produce exciting video images and high-speed animation.

    1. Datamax UV-1R Zgrass Graphics Computer Flyer

July 3, 2021

  1. Added the Datamax UV-1R Zgrass Graphics System Flyer.

    This flyer covers the UV-1R and its accessories; all that makes up a complete UV-1R set-up. The UV-1R used the same three Bally custom chips used in the Bally Arcade/Astrocade; it ran in hi-res mode.

    1. Datamax UV-1R Zgrass Graphics System Flyer

July 1, 2021

  1. Added two high-quality B&W pictures of the UV-1 computer scanned from flyers.

    The UV-1R computer system was available from Datamax, Inc. The "R" in UV-1R stands for Rackmount. The UV-1R used the same three Bally custom chips used in the Bally Arcade/Astrocade; it ran in hi-res mode. From the flyer: "The UV-1R Zgrass Graphics Computer puts computer graphics capabilities into the hands of the graphic artist. The UV-1R uses advanced video game technology and the powerful Zgrass language to produce exciting video images and high-speed animation."

    1. DATAMAX UV-1R Zgrass Graphics Computer - A detailed close-up of the UV-1R.
    2. DATAMAX UV-1R Zgrass Graphics Computer System - The UV-1R with its accessories; this is a complete UV-1R set-up.

June 30, 2021

  1. Added "Star Trek" by Scott Waldinger. This game was advertised in ARCADIAN 1, no. 8 (Jul. 20, 1979): 68.

    This is a small "Star Trek" game written in Bally BASIC. The player fires at Klingons in different quadrants using short and long range sensors. This game has some simple graphics, which set it apart from many of the other "Star Trek" games of the late 1970s. This game was archived by Kevin Bunch in June of 2021.

    1. "Star Trek" by Scott Waldinger (Bally BASIC, 300-Baud Format)

March 2, 2021

  1. Added "Music Program (Star Wars Example)" by Brett Bilbrey with music by Marion Nelepa.

    This load program puts data into RAM (.) statements. The music from Star Wars is included as data to be input into the main program.

    1. Music Program (Star Wars Example)

March 1, 2021

  1. Added an alternate scan of "Machine Music Demo" by Brett Bilbrey. A link to the disassembled version of the Z80 assembly language has also been added.

    The music is originally from the cartridge #6001, "Dealer Demo."

    1. Machine Music Demo (Alternate Scan) - By Brett Bilbrey
  2. Added "Bootstrap for ML" by Brett Bilbrey.

    This program is a bootstrap that loads a machine language program into RAM from a :RUN command and then proceeds to execute it. The specific example pertains to the Music Demo [Brett is probably referring to the Machine Music Demo]. Some values will change for different programs, of course.

    1. Bootstrap for ML - By Brett Bilbrey
  3. Added an alternate version of "Critter" and a program called "Bullit" by Brett Bilbrey. This document appears to be an early, or at least an alternate, version of "Critter."

    This program will place a Space Invader-type "critter" on the screen that will bounce around from top to bottom and side to side without disturbing anything on the screen.

    1. Critter - By Brett Bilbrey

February 27, 2021

  1. Added the announcement for the "Third and Final Hi-Res Astrocade Prototype" by MCM Design.

    MCM Design's vision for its final low/hi-res static screen RAM (SRAM) Astrocade, a wire wrapped prototype with a 3 board add-under. The three boards are: Board 1: Static Screen RAM (SRAM) Board, Board 2: User ROM/RAM Board and Board 3: Pattern Transfer Board.

    1. Third and Final Hi-Res Astrocade Prototype - By MCM Design

February 18, 2021

  1. Added a 2000-baud version of the "Bally BASIC Sampler" tape that can now be loaded using "AstroBASIC." These programs were written by Dick Ainsworth and released by Bally in 1978.

    This tape includes eight BASIC examples on the two-sided tape: Electric Doily, Electronic Music, Gravity Game, Line Graph, Lunar Lander, Monthly Records, Newtonia '500' and Number Match.

    1. Bally BASIC Sampler - "AstroBASIC" 2000-Baud Format

February 10, 2021

  1. Added Nitron litigation releases from 1983.

    Three litigation releases from two SEC Dockets released in 1983 concerning the Securities and Exchange Commission v. Nitron, inc. and Samuel Nissim. The complaint charged that Nitron possibly filed misleading statements concerning the revenues to be derived by Nitron pursuant to a contract to manufacture video game arcades and cassettes for Astrocade, Inc. The action with respect to Nitron was settled on November 17, 1983.

    1. Nitron litigation releases from 1983

February 2, 2021

  1. Added documentation for "Check Listing" and "Concentration," two unpublished Bally BASIC programs by Al Gordon from 1981 and 1982. These programs were submitted to the Arcadian newsletter. This document includes handwritten BASIC listings, program instructions and a letter.

    1. "Check Listing" and "Concentration" Documentation
  2. The Astrocade "Links" page has been reformatted in anticipation of an upcoming update that will add many new links

    1. Bally Arcade/Astrocade Website Links

February 1, 2021

  1. Added the full instructions, program description and a full-length BASIC program explanation for Color Selector by Klaus Doerge. None of this information was included when the program was printed in Arcadian 4, no. 12 (Oct. 07, 1982): 115, 121. This is the original program submission to the Arcadian.

    Color Selector is a "utility program for the game maker. Use the Trigger and Knob controls to vary the colors and identify the numbers."

    1. Color Selector - Full Instructions

January 28, 2021

  1. Added "High-Res Astrocade Machine Language Subroutines," by MCM Design (Michael Matte). The document contains Z80 machine language subroutines for use with a modified-for-hi-res Bally Arcade/Astrocade home videogame console.

    Each subroutine is extensively commented, as you might see in the "Nutting Manual." The documentation for these ML routines is strictly for someone who has access to a modified Hi-Res Astrocade, is experienced in machine/assembly language programming and is looking for a custom hi-speed subroutine application. Perhaps someday in the future, someone with ML/AL experience may acquire or build a modified hi-res Astrocade and might find this info useful.

    1. High-Res Astrocade Machine Language Subroutines

January 25, 2021

  1. Added "Bally Arcade/Astrocade Motherboard Troubleshooting: Hints, Tips and Fixes: An Exchange of Ideas." Written by Michael Matte and compiled by Adam Trionfo.

    This document contains all of the emails (or most of them, I think) where Michael Matte, a member of the Astrocade community, discusses fixing six dead motherboards sent to him by Allen, another Astrocade member who fixes people's motherboards. The document, which includes an introduction by Adam Trionfo, is 22 pages long. It includes some email from Allen and Adam too. This is a document that compiles a story and stories aren't perfect: the bits of a story that are rough around the edges are what makes it great.

    1. Bally Arcade/Astrocade Motherboard Troubleshooting: Hints, Tips and Fixes: An Exchange of Ideas

January 8, 2021

  1. Added the 8K binary cartridge ROM image for "Hi-Res Multi-Page Test Demo - 8K Package" from December 2020.

    This program is a standard Astrocade 8K cartridge that runs on a modified Low/High-Res Astrocade with eight 16KB pages of SRAM (Static RAM) for a total of 128KB Screen RAM at a 320x204 pixel resolution each page. All necessary hi-res routines reside within the test demo program package.

    1. Hi-Res Multi-Page Test Demo - 8K Package - ROM Image

December 20, 2020

  1. Added "Astrocade Cartridge Modified with 28-Pin ZIF Socket" by MCM Design, created in December of 2020.

    Two pages of instructions on how to modify an Astrocade cartridge to use a ZIF socket. There are additional references attached to this documentation that include six photos of the cartridges interior and exterior and three drawings (ZIF electronic schematic, standard EEPROM/EPROM pin layouts, and two reroute socket examples).

    1. Astrocade Cartridge Modified with 28-Pin ZIF Socket

December 3, 2020

  1. Added the hand-written Z80 source code for MCM Design's "Hi-Res Multi-Page Test Demo - 8K Package" from December 2020. This is the 171-page, 88MB pdf document of hand-written documentation and Z80 source code for the 8KB Multi-Pager Test Demo.

    This program is a standard Astrocade 8K cartridge that runs on a modified Low/High-Res Astrocade with eight 16KB pages of SRAM (Static RAM) for a total of 128KB Screen RAM at a 320x204 pixel resolution each page. All necessary hi-res routines reside within the test demo program package.

    1. Hi-Res Multi-Page Test Demo - 8K Package - Source Code

July 3, 2020

  1. Added MCM's Design's Astrocade Hi-Res Multi-Pager Announcement, along with ten screenshots of the demo running on Michael's hi-res Astrocade.

    The 8KB Multi-Pager Test Demo package has been completed and runs as a standard Astrocade cartridge. All necessary hi-res routines reside within the test demo program package. No user RAM above 8000H is required to run the package. A standard low-res ROM (or custom 8KB ROM at 0000-1FFFH) is required only to jump to the test demo at 2000H. This 8KB package runs in hi-res only. It is intended for someone who is interested in modifying their Astrocade to utilize MCM Design's new hi-res SRAM scheme including the optional multi-pager scheme.

    1. Astrocade Hi-Res Multi-Pager Announcement

June 19, 2020

  1. Added "Some Bally Arcade/Astrocade Diagnostic Tips" by Michael Matte.

    This document, originally an email, has some good information on troubleshooting the Astrocade.

    1. "Some Bally Arcade/Astrocade Diagnostic Tips"
  2. Added compilations of Bally Arcade patent figures. These compilations were stitched together by "the_crayon_king."

    This is a compilation of the Data chip, I/O chip and IC interconnections circuits for the Bally Arcade/Astrocade system that implement parts of the Bally Arcade system. This information is taken from Bally Arcade Patent - 4301503 (Nov. 17 1981).

    1. Bally Arcade Patent Figure Compilations

June 5, 2020

  1. Added an update of David Turner's GORF arcade game disassembly from January 2020.

    1. Gorf Arcade Disassembly
  2. Added a "Tom Meeks Interview Summary" by Kevin Bunch from March 24, 2020.

    Kevin Bunch had a lengthy phone conversation with Tom Meeks, who worked at Astrocade in the early 80s. Years back he had a nice back-and-forth in this group, and in some regards our conversation was a follow up to that. I'm still going through my notes/refining them with the transcription, but Tom said he had no problem with me sharing his recollections with other interested parties, so I thought I'd share some highlights.

    1. "Tom Meeks Interview Summary" by Kevin Bunch
  3. Added highlights from an interview with Nola Donato conducted by Kevin Bunch in May of 2020.

    Nola Donato was involved in GRASS and ZGRASS for a while before her career took her elsewhere in the tech industry (with a few more video game-related stints with Mattel and 3DO).

    1. Nola Donato Interview Highlights by Kevin Bunch

June 3, 2020

  1. Added the newest version of the "Tape Programs - Listing and Database" FAQ by Michael White, with updates by Adam Trionfo. This was first released in 2003. This latest update is from 2016.

    This list of several hundred unique Bally Arcade/Astrocade programs in a Microsoft Access format isn't complete, but it probably lists 95% of the software that was available for the Bally Arcade/Astrocade system. The listing was created using programs listed in the following sources: "Arcadian" newsletter, "Bob Fabris Collection" of tapes, Basic Express/Cursor" newsletters, 300-Baud interface documents, magazines (such as "Kilabaud"), "Niagara Bug Bulletin" newsletter, previously unpublished "Arcadian" program submissions from the "Bob Fabris Collection," and programs from the "Sourcebooks," a compilation of software and hardware products produced for the Astrocade.

    1. "Tape Programs - Listing and Database" FAQ

April 25, 2020

  1. Added "Bally Arcade/Astrocade Cartridge Releases" by Kevin Bunch.

    This is a list of cartridges released for the Bally Arcade/Astrocade. The author has been trying to narrow-down the order that the Bally Arcade cartridges were released as well as, when possible, the dates on which they were released.

    1. "Bally Arcade/Astrocade Cartridge Releases" by Kevin Bunch
  2. Added "Tom Defanti Interview Notes" by Kevin Bunch.

    Tom Defanti developed the GRASS computer language and was involved in its Z80 version, ZGRASS, as well as the Datamax UV1 computer and the unreleased ZGRASS add-under for the Bally/Astrocade Professional Arcade game console. Text is not verbatim and was originally typed while he was talking, as my recorder was not handy; it has been cleaned up for readability. This interview was conducted January 16, 2019.

    1. "Tom Defanti Interview Notes" by Kevin Bunch

April 21, 2020

  1. Added "On Naming Bally/Astrocade Colors," by Richard Degler.

    The question of color names comes up often with the Astrocade, as the real hardware's colors frequently look different from the colors under emulation. Richard wrote this document to help everyone communicate better. He ends the article with, "Combining standard Intensity names with the Hue names puts us on the same page. Calling "Lightest Red" as "Pink" or "Darker Yellow" as "Brown" does not help!"

    1. "On Naming Bally/Astrocade Colors" by Richard Degler

March 3, 2020

  1. Added "Hacking 'Astro Battle' ('Space Invaders') on the Bally Arcade/Astrocade" by Adam Trionfo.

    This article is an edited and expanded collection of postings originally made to the Bally Alley discussion group in August of 2011 that give an overview of how to modify the "Astro Battle" game cartridge, which is Astrocade, Inc.'s 1979 version of "Space Invaders." Included is the binary ROM image for a hack to get rid of the bunkers in the game as well as explanations on how to hack the ROM or use an available Z80 disassembly of the game to make more modifications, such as adding up to 255 lives.

    1. Hacking "Astro Battle" ("Space Invaders") on the Bally Arcade/Astrocade

February 26, 2020

  1. Added a pdf version of the Bally/Astrocade High-Res Schematics by John Perkins. These are the schematics of the prototype Astrocade that Perkins Engineering modified in 1981 to go into commercial (hi-res) mode. A description of the upgrade from the Arcadian has also been added for the document.

    1. Perkins High-Res Schematics for Bally Arcade

January 29, 2020

  1. Added a tutorial written in January 2020 by MCM Design (Michael Matte) in the "'An In-Depth Look At...' Series." This machine language programming series is a supplement to the "Nutting Manual. The new tutorial is "Part 7: Custom Expand Pattern." This lesson introduces the magic expand function, which allows a two color graphic pattern to be stored in one half the normal memory.

    1. "Part 7: Custom Expand Pattern" by Michael Matte

December 17, 2019

  1. Added a video overview of the Astrocade BASIC game "The Pits" by Rex Goulding from Arcadian 3, no. 10 (Aug. 12, 1981): 108.

    1. "The Pits" Video Overview

December 13, 2019

  1. Changed the link to the Bally Alley discussion group on the main page to reflect that the Yahoo Groups will no longer be used.

    1. https://groups.io/g/ballyalley

December 4, 2019

  1. Added the modified version of "Gobblers" for "AstroBASIC." This program was originally written by Bob Wiseman in 1981. Klaus Doerge modified this version of the game in 1983.

    This 2-player game requires you to eat a bunch of squares, where each square has one to four points in it, resulting in a score of 1 to 4 for each one eaten. They are positioned in a 5 x 10 grid, and you utilize the JX and JY directions of your controller to move your man. Of course, your opponent is doing the same. The computer is keeping score. It is listed in Bally BASIC, but plays in 'AstroBASIC' as well, just a bit faster."

    1. Gobblers (Mod) by Bob Wiseman and Klaus Doerge

November 10, 2019

  1. Added "Using EEPROMS: A Commentary from MCM Design," by Michael Matte).

    This 10-page commentary, saved as a RTF (Rich Text Format) document, includes how to turn on (or off) a data write protection feature for the newer EEPROMs that offer this option. When this feature is turned on, the EEPROM acts like an EPROM. It's a cool option. Michael used it on one of his 32KB Xicor EEPROMs which now contains my BalcheckHR package to run on my BalcheckHR board. Included are several assembly language examples of how to program an EPROM for the Bally Arcade/Astrocade.

    This commentary will help someone interested in using EEPROMs. The reader should have some experience with the old EPROMs, static RAM and ML programming to follow the commentary. Michael just wanted to share what he has learned about EEPROMs because, as he says, "I like EEPROMs."

    1. Using EEPROMS: A Commentary from MCM Design
  2. Updated the "Bally Arcade/Astrocade ROM Set" collection to include the 2019 demo called "Astrocademo."

    "Astrocademo" was released in August 2019. It was written by Genesis Project for the Bally/Astrocade. Programmers: Code: Shadow, Graphics: Illmidus, Music: MCH. This demo won first place in the "Wild / Animation" catagory at the Xenium 2019 demoparty.

    1. Bally Arcade/Astrocade ROM Set

November 7, 2019

  1. Added a picture of the inside of an Astrocade console to reveal the RF shielding.

    1. Astrocade RF Shielding Picture

November 6, 2019

  1. Added "Bally Arcade / Astrocade Hi-Res Static Screen Ram Schematics" by MCM Design (Michael Matte). This pdf document is from September 2019.

    Included are drawings/schematics for "Modified Hi-Res Motherboard, Mounted 28 Pin Socket Wiring," "Bally Motherboard To Hi-Res Screen RAM Board," "Bally Motherboard To Hi-Res Screen RAM Board," "74LS138 Enabler Decoder," "Static Screen RAM Interfacing," and a "Simplified Video Screen Scan Diagram."

    1. "Bally Arcade / Astrocade Hi-Res Static Screen Ram Schematics" by MCM Design (Michael Matte)
  2. Added two pictures of the Hi-Res project board with the optional user ROM/RAM scheme added.

    1. Astrocade Modified Hi-Res Motherboard (Picture 1)
    2. Astrocade Modified Hi-Res Motherboard (Picture 2)

October 29, 2019

  1. Added "Graphic Pictures" by Video Wizards (Ken Springsteen), programs released on tape in March 1982.

    These are video graphics/computer art for the Bally Arcade / Astrocade for use with "AstroBASIC," the version of Bally BASIC with the built-in tape interface. This video overview shows 11 programs loading and displaying detailed mono-colored pictures on the TV screen. The video begins with an overview, background and brief history of Video Wizards.

    1. "Graphic Pictures" by Video Wizards

October 17, 2019

  1. Added "M-III" by Stanley Kendall from Arcadian 5, no. 3 (Jan. 14, 1983): 45.

    This random video art program was written February 23, 1982. Unlike many video art programs, this one ends after about four minutes and twenty seconds. Paul Thacker notes: "The [M-III] program is a fairly simple graphical demo. It draws different size boxes vertically and horizontally, and makes some interesting patterns." "M-III Plus" has also had its description changed to include the other programs included in it.

    1. "M-III" by Stanley Kendall

September 12, 2019

  1. Added MCM Design's High-Res Static RAM Announcement as a RTF document. Also added four photos of the upgrade to accompany the announcement.

    1. "High Resolution Static Ram Upgrade by MCM Design
  2. Added a link to the "AstroBASIC Pocket Guide" compiled by written by Richard Degler.

    This is complete listing of the AstroBASIC variables, commands and functions now available all in one place.

    1. "AstroBASIC Pocket Guide" by Richard Degler

September 5, 2019

  1. Added screenshots and MAME Save States for use with the "Machine Language Manager" cartridge and MCM Design's "An In-Depth Look At... series."

    1. "Part 5: Custom Write Pattern" (MAME Save State and Screenshots)
    2. "Part 6: Custom Flop Pattern" (MAME Save State and Screenshots)

August 28, 2019

  1. Added two tutorials by MCM Design (Michael Matte) in the "'An In-Depth Look At...' Series." This machine language programming series is a supplement to the "Nutting Manual. The new tutorials are "Part 5: Custom Write Pattern" (the article shows how to write a "normal" pattern using a direct Z80 subroutine call with no UPI required) and "Part 6: Custom Flop Pattern" (provides the option to flop write a pattern to lesson 5).

    1. "Part 5: Custom Write Pattern" by Michael Matte
    2. "Part 6: Custom Flop Pattern" by Michael Matte

August 26, 2019

  1. Added Bin2BML, version 3, by Lance Squire.

    Bin2BML converts .bin files to .BML files to load on an Astrocade with a RAM expansion. An example is included. Using this program, the user will finally get to see software run on actual HARDWARE!

    1. "Bin2BML" by Lance Squire

August 16, 2019

  1. Added a Composite Video Modification for the Bally Arcade/Astrocade. Created by Dan Sandin and Phil Morton of the Electronic Visualization Center in 1980. The document includes instructions, schematic, board layout and parts list.

    This is an add-on circuit which improves the audio and video signals, optimizing for recording and/or transmission. This add-on circuit gives the computer user a line level audio signal output and a composite video signal output. It is a lowest-possible-cost solution to a highest-possible-quality goal.

    1. Composite Video Modification for the Bally Arcade/Astrocade
  2. Added a link on the main BallyAlley.com page to the AtariAge Astrocade sub-forum and updated the link to the BallyAlley Yahoo group.

  3. Added "Standard Color Generator" by Andy Guevara/The Bit Fiddlers. This was published in BASIC EXPRESS, THE 3, no. 2 (May/June 1981): 15-16. and "Machine Language Manager" Manual (Page 7-4)

    This video test software generates 8 standard color bars used in TV work. It is for use with the Bally Arcade/Astrocade and Bally BASIC or the Machine Language Manager. The "Standard Color Generator" program will display a series of color bars which can be used to set the colors on your TV set. The color bars are displayed from left to right in the following order: Black, White, Yellow, Green, Blue, Magenta, Red, and Cyan

    1. Standard Color Generator

August 13, 2019

  1. Added "Part 4: An Introduction to the Magic RAM" to "An In-Depth Look At... series: A Supplement to the "Nutting Manual" by MCM Design (Michael Matte).

    "The Z80 instruction set has ample amount of bit manipulation instructions to write graphics to the screen RAM display. However, this means of writing graphics is not necessary, because the Bally/Astrocade computer's motherboard includes graphic hardware to manipulate screen bits or pixels faster and with less effort."

    The "Magic System is enabled when data is written to a memory location (X) from 0 to 16K. A modified form of the data is actually written in memory location X+16K. The magic register determines how the data is modified [expansion, rotating or shifting; flopping; OR or XOR.]"

    This tutorial explains how to use the Magic RAM using example programs and step-by-step methods.

    1. "An In-Depth Look at... Part 4: An Introduction to the Magic RAM."

August 7, 2019

  1. Updated the "Bally/Astrocade Game Cartridge and Hardware FAQ" to version 1.83. It has added that Galaxian, Pac-Man, Pirate's Chase, and Soccer were programmed by Bill Adams.

    1. "Bally/Astrocade Game Cartridge and Hardware FAQ"

August 4, 2019

  1. Updated the link to the html version of the "The Bally/Astrocade FAQ."

    Lance F. Squire's site, based on his original Bally/Astrocade FAQ created on June 3, 1995. The URL was updated on August 4, 2019, as the previous address (http://www.glankonian.com/~lance/Ballyfaq.html) is now obsolete.

    1. The Bally/Astrocade FAQ (HTML Version)
  2. Added an extended and improved video overview of "RND (Art)" by Rob Rosenhouse (Super Software). This program was published in ARCADIAN 4, no. 2 (Dec. 7, 1981): 17.

    While the program is the same, there is different information in both videos of "RND (Art)." Watch them both if you're interested in this program. The program was re-recorded, so the random art is completely different in this video.

    1. "RND (Art)" by Rob Rosenhouse (Super Software)

August 2, 2019

  1. Added an overview of the video art program called "Symmetrical Art" by Rob Rosenhouse from ARCADIAN 3, no. 11 (Sep. 11, 1981): 113.

    1. "Symmetrical Art" by Rob Rosenhouse (Overview Video)

August 1, 2019

  1. Added a video art overview of "Diamond" by Richard Sonnenblick. This program was published in Basic Express, The 3, no. 1 (April 1981): 7.

    This is the program description from "The Basic Express" newsletter: "This is a Video Art Program. We publish only the best of those we receive. Invariably, such programs make extensive use of For-To-Next loops and can be valuable to the budding programmer as a learning device! The author, Richard Sonnenblick, is a junior high school student. Congratulations go to Richard for a very excellent program. I hope you adults reading this are sufficiently chagrined."

    1. "Diamonds" by Richard Sonnenblick (Video Art Overview)
  2. Added a video overview of "Pop Art (Circles)" by Ron Picardi from ARCADIAN 3, no. 7 (May 8, 1981): 77. This is video art for Bally Arcade/Astrocade with Bally BASIC or "AstroBASIC."

    The ARCADIAN contained no instructions for this video art program. Ron's program submission letter said only this about the program, "A self-running art program that features some unusual graphic patterns."

    1. "Pop Art (Circles)" by Ron Picardi

July 26, 2019

  1. Added "Part 3: The Vertical Blank Register - Output Port 0AH." to "An In-Depth Look At... series: A Supplement to the "Nutting Manual" by MCM Design (Michael Matte).

    The only RAM in the Bally/Astrocade console is screen RAM. Unfortunately, with this situation, variables, routine flags, data blocks, the Z80 stack area, etc, must be located in the bottom of the screen RAM area plus the extra 16 bytes of scratchpad RAM at 4FF0 thru 4FFFH. The hardware allows this data to be hidden from view by setting a vertical blanking line to the desired height. The NM system description, page 90, provides some additional info on vertical blanking.

    This tutorial explains how to use the Vertical Blank Register using example programs and step-by-step methods to explain how to use the register to work for the programmer.

    1. "An In-Depth Look at... Part 3: The Vertical Blank Register: Output Port 0AH."

July 25, 2019

  1. Added "Part 2: Series Color Map Parameters" to "An In-Depth Look At... series: A Supplement to the "Nutting Manual" by MCM Design (Michael Matte).

    The Bally/Astrocade color map parameters include the Horizontal Color Boundary, 8 color registers map and the border background colors. This tutorial covers these topics and includes example programs on how to use them.

    1. "An In-Depth Look at... Part 2: Color Map Parameters."

July 22, 2019

  1. Added "Part 0: Series Start-Up/Introduction" to "An In-Depth Look At... series: A Supplement to the "Nutting Manual" by MCM Design (Michael Matte).

    Anyone interested in writing programs for their Bally/Astrocade in machine language or programming in assembly language will eventually learn about what is commonly referred to as the "Nutting Manual". This manual is packed with programming information for the Bally/Astrocade. From a programming viewpoint, the manual does provide details on the ROM's UPI processing and on-board subroutines, but does not provide examples so the reader can acquire thorough understanding as to how the UPI and subroutines function. The details it does provide, at times, are insufficient and can leave the reader desiring more info.

    The intent of this "An In-Depth Look At ..." series is to supplement the "Nutting Manual" providing missing information plus stressing ML and assembly language program examples. The series will progress towards the presentation of programs with complex graphics and motion. Programs will also include extensive programming comments.

    This series is not intended to teach the reader how to create ML programs or program in assembly language. Rather, the series will show how the on-board ROM subroutines can be used to display graphics, move non-blinking graphic patterns around the screen and perform many other tasks.

    1. "An In-Depth Look at... Part 0: Series Start-Up/Introduction."
  2. Added "Part 1: Pixel Color Register." to "An In-Depth Look At... series: A Supplement to the "Nutting Manual" by MCM Design (Michael Matte).

    There are 4 screen display parameters that must be initialized when the Bally/Astrocade console is powered on. The motherboard ROM executes a power up routine to initialize these screen parameters prior to displaying the system menu. The parameters are changed or initialized in all ROM cartridges and can be changed any time during execution of a program.

    The 4 parameters are the color registers, the horizontal color boundary, the border background color and vertical blanking, all of which will be described in the first 3 lessons of this series.

    1. "An In-Depth Look at... Part 1: Pixel Color Register."

July 18, 2019

  1. Added an overview of the video art program called 256 Color Display by Jerry Burianyk. This program displays all 256 colors of the Astrocade's palette on the screen at the same time.

    1. 256 Color Display by Jerry Burianyk

July 15, 2019

  1. Added Perspectives by Mike Peace / WaveMakers. This program appeared in CURSOR 2, no. 5 (January/February 1981): 89 and was republished in 1981 in the "AstroBASIC" Manual, Pg. 90. This is video art for Bally Arcade/Astrocade with Bally BASIC or "AstroBASIC."

    Notes from the "AstroBASIC" manual: "This program graphically displays a road going into a city, with telephone poles line the road. Excellent perspective study!" The program description from the cursor newsletter: "This program draws a perspective view of a highway lined with telephone poles and the city."

    1. Perspectives by Mike Peace / WaveMakers

July 12, 2019

  1. Added the official "Z80 CPU User Manual" by Zilog. This is document No. UM008011-0816, from August 2016.

    1. Z80 CPU User Manual by Zilog

July 2, 2019

  1. Moved BallyAlley.com to a new host server on GoDaddy.com. It may take a few days from the DNS (Dynamic Name Servers) to "catch-up." In the meantime, the website may appear to be down for the next couple of days.

  2. Added an overview of the video art program, Pick A Pattern by Ron Picardi. This is an unpublished Arcadian submission from 1980 or 1981.

    1. Pick A Pattern by Picardi

May 31, 2019

  1. Added an overview of Crazyface by Steve Walters (General Video). This program was released for Bally BASIC in 1980 and "AstroBASIC" in 1982.

    This graphic program is simple, but effective. It draws simple, almost-childlike-in-their-innocence, stereotypical faces of various people and professions.

    1. Crazyface Overview Video

May 24, 2019

  1. Added an overvew of Electronic Blanked by Dieter Heinerman from Arcadian 3, no. 4 (Feb. 07, 1981): 49.

    Electronic Blanked is a video art program for Bally Arcade/Astrocade with Bally BASIC or "AstroBASIC." The program draws randomly-spaced, various-sized boxes from the bottom-left to the top-right of the screen. The screen eventually fills with these different-sized boxes, creating interesting patterns with the Foreground and background colors constantly changing.

    1. ElectronicBlanked Overview Video

May 22, 2019

  1. Added the original BASIC type-in listings for Caterpillar and Okiedada by THADD*PRO (Tim Henson and David Dalke). Caterpillar appeared in the Arcadian newsletter, but Okiedada was previously unpublished.

    1. Caterpillar and Okiedada. BASIC Type-In Listing

May 21, 2019

  1. Added a circa 1978/79 catalog called "Discover the Bally Promise of Endless Fun!"

    This four-page folded paper brochure/catalog/flyer measures about 7" x 3.5" and opens to approximately 14" x 7". This catalog features many screenshots, including four of them for two cartridges (four games) that were never released: "5003 - Checkers/Backgammon" and "3004 - Drag Race/Desert Fox." The catalog is a nice piece of vintage salesmanship. It uses some of the original naming conventions for Bally's cartridges: cassettes and videocades.

    1. "Discover the Bally Promise of Endless Fun!"
  2. Added a overview of Boxes by Dieter Heinerman. This video art program was published in Arcadian 3, no. 4 (Feb. 07, 1981): 49.

    1. Boxes by Dieter Heinerman

May 16, 2019

  1. Added a video of "3D Corners" by Dieter Heinerman. This is a video art program published in ARCADIAN 3, no. 4 (Feb. 07, 1981): 49.

    1. "3D Corners" by Dieter Heinerman

May 15, 2019

  1. Added "Loading Blue Ram BASIC 'Tapes' using MAME Emulation, a Bally Arcade/Astrocade Video Tutorial by Adam Trionfo.

    This tutorial explains how to load and save Blue Ram BASIC programs in the Astrocade emulator in MAME. Specifically Blue Ram BASIC programs are loaded on the emulated Bally Arcade/Astrocade console, a game system released in January of 1978.

    1. Loading Blue Ram BASIC "Tapes" using MAME Emulation.

May 14, 2019

  1. Added two additional cartridges images for the BalCheckHR hardware by MCM Design (Michael Matte).

    This hardware allows experienced electronics users to diagnose many problems with a Bally Arcade/Astrocade game console. The new 8K ROM images included in the archive are the following: 1) BalcheckHR RemoteROM - A slightly revised 8K on-board ROM that can be run from the BalCheckHR hardware and 2) BalcheckHR Z80check - The intent of the "Z80 Check" program is to visually confirm the Z80 CPU is operating by watching the dual display to see if it counts up from 00 to FF in hexadecimal.

    1. BalCheckHR - Three 8K ROM Images

April 26, 2019

  1. Added a video called "Loading and Saving Astrocade 'AstroBASIC' 'Tapes using MAME Emulation."

    This tutorial explains how to load and save Bally BASIC programs in the Astrocade emulator in MAME. Specifically "AstroBASIC" programs are loaded on the emulated Bally Arcade/Astrocade console. The main idea of this video is to get a user loading programs from "tape" (actually WAV files archived on BallyAlley.com) as quickly as possible. After the instructions in the tutorial have been followed, any user of a Windows system that has at least version 0.208 of the MAME emulator setup can load and save software to and from "tape."

    1. Loading and Saving Astrocade "AstroBASIC" "Tapes" using MAME Emulation.

April 24, 2019

  1. Added Steve Kennedy's handwritten instructions and program listing for Space Spiders. This program appeared in Arcadian 5, no. 10 (Aug. 16, 1983): 151-152.

    1. Space Spiders Handwritten Notes and BASIC Listing

April 19, 2019

  1. Added a video of Alchemisymmetrical Art by Barry Ellerson.

    This is video art for Bally Arcade/Astrocade with Bally BASIC or "AstroBASIC." Paul Thacker wrote on June 28, 2013, "As for what the program does, it is indeed another art program. It uses the line command to draw patterns which are symmetrical from the center of the screen both left to right and top to bottom. It frequently changes the foreground and background colors, often using a different palette on the left and right side of the screen, split right down the center."

    1. Alchemisymmetrical Art - by Barry Ellerson

April 9, 2019

  1. Added the BalCheckHR Z80 assembly language source code by MCM Design (Michael Matte).

    This is about 180 pages of handwritten, Z80 assembly language software for the BalCheckHR unit. This hardware allows experienced electronics users to diagnose many problems with a Bally Arcade/Astrocade game console. This device has many improvements over the original BalCheck hardware, including special routines to test Astrocade units that have been modified to use high-res mode. This BalCheck software, if you were to type it in, would assemble to an 8K ROM image. On the BalCheckHR hardware, this is bank 0 of the 32K ROM.

    1. BalCheckHR (Z80 Assembly Language Source Code)
  2. Added the BalCheckHR 8K ROM image by MCM Design (Michael Matte).

    1. BalcheckHR 8K ROM Image

April 8, 2019

  1. Added a video for a real hardware timing test using real Bally Arcade/Astrocade hardware. Two programs are run that use clocks which can be used for timing real Bally Arcade hardware versus emulation. One program, Goldfish Demo, is written in machine language. The other program, Grandfather Clock, is written in BASIC. This video can be used to test how the emulation speed is for Astrocade emulation.

    1. Bally Arcade/Astrocade Real Hardware Timing Test.
  2. Added the "Archives" area to BallyAlley.com. This is a zip archive collection of thousands of Astrocade files on Archive.org. These archives include the "Bally Alley Website Storehouse" archive (23.34 GB) and the "Bob Fabris Scans Collection" archive (26.8 GB).

    1. Bally Arcade/Astrocade Archives

March 31, 2019

  1. Added "BalcheckHR User Manual" by Michael Matte from December 2018. Michael Matte wrote this documentation. For ease of use with future updates to this manual, all documents are separate text files. Altogether, this manual is 85 pages long. It is made up of 17 different documents.

    1. BalcheckHR User Manual
  2. Added "BalcheckHR User Manual (Handwritten Scans)" by Michael Matte from December 2018. This document contains 23 pages of handwritten notes, schematics, and board layouts for the BalCheckHR. These scans supplement the BalCheckHR User Manual.

    1. BalcheckHR User Manual (Handwritten Scans)

March 29, 2019

  1. Added the document "Setting Up the Astro-daptor with MAME" by Michael Matte. He wrote this in February 2019. These instructions explain how to use this the Astro-daptor with the Astrocade emulator included in MAME.

    The Astro-daptor is a USB interface for connecting Bally/Astrocade controllers to your PC/Mac, Raspberry Pi, or game console that supports USB HID. No driver is needed as the Astro-daptor is recognized as a USB HID (Human Interface Device) joystick.

    1. Setting Up the Astro-daptor with MAME

March 26, 2019

  1. I have uploaded the BallyAlley.com website to archive.org so that it can be downloaded as one zip file. The BallyAlley.com website was always meant to be viewed offline (it's written only in plain html and CSS).

    This "What's New" update is included in the archive to show the last update made to the website. Here is a link to archive.org. If you search there for BallyAlley.com website, then maybe soon you can download the whole website as one zipped archive. I'll link to it directly when it's available.

    1. www.archive.org

March 20, 2019

  1. Added a video overview of the Bally Arcade/Astrocade game for "AstroBASIC" called "The Gate Escape" by WaveMakers. It was released on cassette tape #18 in May 1983.

    1. The Gate Escape Game Overview

March 18, 2019

  1. Added David Turner's updated in-progress Z80 disassembly of Midways arcade game, Gorf.

    1. Gorf Z80 Disassembly

March 15, 2019

  1. Added "composite video-out for Astrocade" by Justin Pittman. This is a schematic with notes for a composite-out board designed in 2018/2019. Example comparison pictures are included.

    1. "Composite Video-Out for Astrocade" by Justin Pittman

March 14, 2019

  1. Added video overview by Adam Trionfo of Diminishing Boxes by Matt Giwer. This program appeared in ARCADIAN 2, no. 8 (Jun. 23, 1980): 73.

    1. Diminishing Boxes by Matt Giwer

March 13, 2019

  1. Added video overview by Adam Trionfo of RND (Art) by Super Software (Rob Rosenhouse). RND (Art) appeared in a classified ad in Arcadian 2, no. 7 (May 19, 1980): 66. A printed BASIC listing appeared in Arcadian 4, no. 2 (Dec. 07, 1981): 17. This program was free when ordering Super Software's catalog.

    1. RND (Art) by Super Software

February 26, 2019

  1. Added a disassembly, with comments, of the subroutine used by "The Gate Escape," published by WaveMakers and written by Mike Peace. This game was on Tape 18 (May 1983).

    "The Gate Escape" is an "AstroBASIC" game that uses CALLs to a short Z80 machine language subroutine called STRDIS (String Display) in the on-board ROM. The subroutine and data is stored in screen RAM from $4EE8 - $4F85. The routine displays the seven different graphics used in the game. This disassembly was created by Adam Trionfo in February 2019.

    1. The Gate Escape Z80 Subroutine Disassembly

February 25, 2019

  1. Added a review of the "AstroBASIC" game, Chessette by Craig Anderson. This program is from CURSOR 2, no. 4 (November/December 1980): 76-77.

    This is a simple, two-player-only version of Chess for the Bally Arcade/Astrocade. This video shows a complete, 6-move game: ending with a trapped queen. This video replays this famous game: Sandor Takacs vs Josef Emil Krejcik (Vienna blitz (1920), Vienna AUT).

    1. Chessette Game Overview

February 24, 2019

  1. Added a 300-baud Bally BASIC program called RND Pixel Art by Dieter Heinermann. This program is from ARCADIAN 7, no. 3 (Mar. 21, 1986): 47.

    This video art program will run in Bally BASIC, "AstroBASIC" and Extended BASIC (Blue Ram BASIC or Vipersoft BASIC). There were no instructions in the Arcadian, but the original program submission letter (dated August 9, 1985) included three programs on one tape. The comments about RND Pixel Design are, "The third [program] is a short RND pixel program."

    1. RND Pixel Art by Dieter Heinermann
  2. Added an article called "How to Create an AstroBASIC Editable BASIC Listing" by Adam Trionfo.

    This document describes how to create a BASIC listing that can be edited in a plain text editor, and then made into a 300-baud WAV file. It requires some Bally tape archiving tools, a real astrocade and a RAM expansion for the astrocade. The WAV file can then be loaded into Bally BASIC or "AstroBASIC" (by converting it using the 300-baud utility conversion program in the "AstroBASIC" manual).

    1. How to Create an AstroBASIC Editable BASIC Listing by Adam Trionfo.
  3. Added an "AstroBASIC" game called "Chessette" by Craig Anderson. It was published in CURSOR 2, no. 4 (November/December 1980): 76-77.

    This is a simple, two-player only version of Chess. The pieces are drawn to the screen and the players each take turns moving them using special to/from notation. Read the complete documentation for "Chessette" in the "Cursor" newsletter (included in the archive) to understand the rules and play the game.

    1. Chessette by Craig Anderson.

February 23, 2019

  1. Added a 300-baud Bally BASIC program called "Unusual Sounds" by Bill Loos. This program is from ARCADIAN 3, no. 7 (May 08, 1981): 79. The program, along with the list of variables, will provide some unusual sound effects. Make direct substitutions of the values of X and Y as recommended, either individually, or by grouping two or more together.

    1. Unusual Sounds by Bill Loos

February 5, 2019

  1. Updated the Home Video Game Library equates file called HGVLIB.H to version 3.02.

    This is an equate file for Bally / Astrocade assembly language programming. If you're going to be creating machine language programs with the Nutting Manual, then you need this Astrocade equate file.

    1. HGVLIB.H
  2. Added a new version of the Cosmic Raiders Z80 machine language disassembly:

    This is the third release of this game's code. It is now commented and most everything has been disassembled.

    1. Cosmic Raiders Z80 Disassembly

February 4, 2019

  1. Added a link to the video tutorial called "Setting up Astrocade Emulation Using MAME" to BallyAlley.com.

    1. Setting up Astrocade Emulation Using MAME
  2. Updated the Astrocade MESS emulation area to reflect that MESS is now included with MAME.

    1. Astrocade MAME Emulation Area

January 31, 2019

  1. Added a link to the Bally Alley blog to the main page of BallyAlley.com.

    1. Bally Alley Blog

November 30, 2018

  1. Added a Bally BASIC program called Computer Art that was released in 1980 by W&W Software Sales and written by Bob Weber. It is a video art program for the Bally Arcade/Astrocade that creates random art with geometric designs and patterns.

    1. Computer Art by W&W Software Sales (Video Overview)

November 29, 2018

  1. Added an overview of the Explorer I Demo, by Craig J. Anderson, which was published in an article/tutorial called DMA Graphics in the April/May 1980 of the Cursor newsletter. It was also released on the Graphics Demo tape by ARD. This is video art, of a sort, for the Bally Arcade/Astrocade with Bally BASIC. This program will not work with "AstroBASIC."

    1. Explorer I Demo by Craig J. Anderson (Video Overview)

November 15, 2018

  1. Added an overview of Electronic Visualization Center by Dan Sandin and Phil Morton. Also included in this video is a general background for Bally Arcade/Astrocade video art. Only the last few minutes of this video is dedicated to the Electronic Visualization Center BASIC overview. The majority of this video contains a general history of video art and how it relates to the Bally Arcade.

    1. Electronic Visualization Center by Dan Sandin and Phil Morton (Video Overview)

November 12, 2018

  1. Added Scroll One, Scroll Two and Scroll Three by Larry Cuba.

    These video art programs were printed in the Bally BASIC and "AstroBASIC" manuals. They each fill the screen, line by line, with patterns of different sizes of boxes.

    1. Scroll One, Scroll Two and Scroll Three by Larry Cuba (Video Overview)

November 8, 2018

  1. Added Random Box by Scott Walpole.

    This video art program appeared in the December 1979 issue of the Arcadian newsletter along with three other short programs by Scott: a game called Number Match and two music programs, Hello, Dolly and Popeye the Sailor. The Arcadian has no instructions or comments for Random Box. The program simply draws random-sized boxes on the screen and the colors periodically change.

    1. Random Box (Video Overview)

November 7, 2018

  1. Added video overview of Perspective Box by Rickey Spiece. This program was published in the 1978 version of the Bally BASIC manual on page 115.

    Perspective Box draws a "box" which is meant to have a pseudo 3D perspective in a corner of the screen. The program changes the color of the box and then "shrinks" it. The program is simple enough that it wasn't included in the manual for the re-release of Bally BASIC, but it probably helped early purchasers and users of the Bally Arcade go on to create video art.

    1. Perspective Box Overview
  2. Added TERSE programming language Z80 assembly language source code called "Add-Whatever Graphics and I/O Extensions" by Jay Fenton written in February/March 1979.

    1. "Add-Whatever Graphics and I/O Extensions" by Jay Fenton
  3. Added a 33-page manual called VGER from June 18, 1981. This document is from the collection of Jamie Fenton.

    I'm not sure what VGER is an aberration for, but it seems to describe how to use the TERSE programming language with macros that are in (perhaps?) a header file of some sort.

    1. "VGER" Document
  4. Added TERSE Debugger Package document. This is a two-page list of the commands required to use the TERSE interactive debugger.

    1. TERSE Debugger Package Document
  5. Added a two-page "Video Game System Glossary" from the collection of Jamie Fenton.

    I think that this document has to do with the TERSE programming language. Here is the first paragraph from the Proposed Video Game System vocabulary document:

    "This is a description of the VGS vocabularies. The words are presented in ASCII order. The first line of each entry shows a symbolic description of the action of the word: symbols indicating which parameters are to be placed on the stack before executing the word, 3 dashes (---), indicating execution, then any parameters left on the stack by the word. In this notation, the top of the stack is to the right. The place of the word in the input string is not completely obvious, is shown explicitly. If no dashes are shown the word does not affect the stack."

    1. Video Game System Glossary
  6. Added a 16-page document called "Z-80 Disk Block Organization" from the collection of Jamie Fenton. This document seems to be the op code formats for TERSE assembly.

    1. Z-80 Disk Block Organization

November 6, 2018

  1. Added information about the possible author of the 300-Baud Star Trek game.

    1. Star Trek by Unknown (300-Baud Program Download Area)
  2. Added a three-page book excerpt from the 1978 book An Introduction to Personal and Business Computing by Rodnay Zaks. This book excerpt cover the Bally Arcade and the Umtech VideoBrain.

    1. An Introduction to Personal and Business Computing by Rodnay Zaks
  3. Added link to Astrocade video art overview.

    1. Random Art, by Ernie Sams (Video Art Overview) by Adam Trionfo
  4. Added "Discussion with Rickey Spiece of Dave Nutting Associates." This is a compilation, by Richard Degler, of eleven postings to the Bally Alley Discussion group.

    1. Discussion with Rickey Spiece of Dave Nutting Associates
  5. Added "Programmers of the Bally Arcade/Astrocade Built-in Programs" compiled by Adam Trionfo on August 17, 2016. This is an attempt to credit those people who programmed the four programs built into the Bally Arcade/Astrocade.

    1. Programmers of the Bally Arcade/Astrocade Built-in Programs
  6. Added "TERSE - Edit Verbs (Revision #4)" handwritten Notes from 198x. These are from the collection of Jamie Fenton (BitSavers.org). This is four pages of short notes on how to use the editor to edit TERSE files, including a set of Edit Control Characters.

    1. TERSE - Edit Verbs (Revision #4).

November 3, 2018

  1. Added documentation for the TERSE programming lanuage

    1. Caltech Forth Manual (Excerpt from chapter "2.7 - The Editor," pages 28-34.) - From the collection of Jamie Fenton
    2. Caltech Forth (1983 Manual) by Martin Ewing.
    3. TERSE Code - "Indirectly Call Verb." - From the collection of Jamie Fenton
    4. TERSE 78 Standard Glossary - From the collection of Jamie Fenton
    1. TERSE Programming Language Documentation Area

November 1, 2018

  1. Added 1976's Standardized Test Procedure for Midway's Processor Boards (MM 1701-1) by Midway Mfg. Co. (A Bally Company).

    The tremendous success of Midway's Gunfight and Sea Wolf games in the coin-operated amusement industry has created a new kind of need. This book has been specifically tailored to meet the requirements of troubleshooting Midway's Processor Boards, (henceforth - referred to as Mother Boards). It does not in any way try to explain how the board works. Throughout the book the major emphasis has been on "How to Fix the Board" and no attempt has been made to describe "How it Works".

    1. Standardized Test Procedure for Midway's Processor Boards

October 31, 2018

  1. Added links to Astrocade Halloween Videos.

    1. Halloween Graphics with Flying Witch Demo By David Ibach and Steve Walters (Halloween Graphics)
    2. Halloween Ghost by James Wilkinson (Halloween Graphics)
    3. The Magic Jack-O-Lantern by Bill Loos (L&M Software)(Halloween Graphics)
    1. Bally Aracade/Astrocade Video Area

October 30, 2018

  1. Uploaded 46 patents cited by the Bally Arcade and Astrocade patents to Archive.org.

    I have uploaded to Archive.org a collection of the 46 patents cited by both of the Bally Arcade/Astrocade patents 4,301,503 and 4,296,930. It's pretty neat reading/browsing the patents referenced in the Astrocade patents. Some of the referenced patents go back as far as 1958. Also, some of the patents are for systems from Atari, Magnavox's original 1972 Odyssey or even very obscure computers like the VideoBrain.

    1. 46 Patents Cited in Bally Arcade/Astrocade Patents - Link to Archive.org

October 29, 2018

  1. Added a link to an Astrocade Video.

    1. Added a link to a console review of the Bally Arcade/Astrocade by Jason Slaughter. This video was published to YouTube on February 1, 2012.
    1. Bally Aracade/Astrocade Console Review

October 28, 2018

  1. Added a schematic for a Bally Arcade/Astrocade 16K DRAM (Dynamic RAM) add-on by John Perkins.

    This is a 16K DRAM add on. The Blue RAM was a 4-16K or 32K SRAM (Static RAM). There are a lot of differences between the 2 types of RAM. DRAM is what is in the Bally. This scheme is a way to add 16K of memory to the Bally / Astrocade.

    1. 16K DRAM Blue Ram Add-On by John Perkins.
  2. Added links to two Astrocade Videos.

    1. "Remembering the Future - Live!" (Live Video Art Performance) by Jason Slaughter.
    2. "Remembering the Future (Revised)" (Video used in Live Art Performance) by Jason Slaughter.
    1. Bally Aracade/Astrocade Video Area
  3. Added Gun Fight Computer Service Manual: For the Midway 8080 Microprocessor Game Series, A Comprehensive Analysis of the Gun Fight Game Computer by Midway Manufacturing Co, published in 1976 in William Arkush Video Game Data Books, Vol. 4.

    This Gun Fight manual is referenced in the Bally Arcade/Astrocade patent (U.S. Patent 4,296,930, "TV Game Apparatus"). Tony Miller, a hardware engineer who helped create the Bally Professional Arcade, once said that the custom chips in the Astrocade were created from the hardware in such games as Gun Fight. Gun Fight is normally considered the first arcade video game that used a microprocessor (it uses the 8080 CPU).

    1. Gun Fight Computer Service Manual: For the Midway 8080 Microprocessor Game Series by Midway Manufacturing Co.

October 27, 2018

  1. Added Bally Artillery by John W. Rhodes. This program is from Creative Computing, August 1982, Pages 191-192.

    John Rhodes writes: "I particularly liked the artillery game that Compucolor called 'Shoot.' This game generates a random terrain display and wind factor and positions two artillery emplacements on the screen so that two opponents can take turns trying to obliterate each other. Eventually I resolved that I either had to buy a Compucolor or program this game on my Bally. I chose the latter."

    Lance Squire typed in Bally Artillery in June of 2018. It runs, but doesn't work exactly as it should. It probably has a couple of typos in it, but it's still worth looking at and playing.

    1. Bally Artillery
  2. Added a Blue Ram Notebook by John Perkins. This is a 24-page handwritten notebook describing the "Blue Box" to Bob Fabris. This is certainly the earliest, most in-depth description of the Blue Ram expansion unit. There is no date, but I suspect that this notebook was written in about 1979 or 1980.

    This is a transcription of the first page of the notebook:

    "This notebook is intended to provide you with a glimpse of the potential of our 'Blue Ram' accessory. The full potential is too vast to be adequately treated in a book 10 times the size. This is because the 'Blue Box' provides the Bally Arcade with many of the features of a normal personal computer about which volumes have already been written. What I hope to provide here is a sketch of what the 'Blue Box' can do as well as some sample "experimental" applications."

    1. Blue Ram Notebook

October 26, 2018

  1. Added links to seven Astrocade Videos.

    1. Bally Astrocade Hand Controller Inside Look (Hardware Overview) by Arcade USA (William "Willie" Culver)
    2. Bombardier by L&M Software ("AstroBASIC" Let's Play Overview) by Arcade USA (William "Willie" Culver)
    3. Castle of Horror by WaveMakers ("AstroBASIC" Let's Play Overview) by Arcade USA (William "Willie" Culver)
    4. Catch the Bomb by New Image ("AstroBASIC" Let's Play Overview) by Arcade USA (William "Willie" Culver)
    5. Flying Ace by WaveMakers ("AstroBASIC" Let's Play Overview) by Arcade USA (William "Willie" Culver)
    6. Meteoroids by L&M Software ("AstroBASIC" Let's Play Overview) by Arcade USA (William "Willie" Culver)
    7. Nam-Cap, Version 5, "Multiplying Ghosts" by New Image ("AstroBASIC" Let's Play Overview) by Arcade USA (William "Willie" Culver)
    1. Bally Aracade/Astrocade Video Area

October 25, 2018

  1. Added links to five Astrocade Videos.

    1. Conan the Barbarian, by Astrocade, Inc. (Cartridge Game Overview) by Adam Trionfo
    2. Machine Language Manager Tutorial, Part 2: How to Use the MLM by Adam Trionfo
    3. Machine Language Manager Tutorial, Part 3: Using MLM Example Programs by Adam Trionfo
    4. Machine Language Manager Tutorial, Part 4: Using the MLM with Astrocade MAME Emulation by Adam Trionfo
    5. Raster Test by "Sdw" (Homebrew Program Test/Overview) by Adam Trionfo
    1. Bally Aracade/Astrocade Video Area

October 24, 2018

  1. Added links to six Astrocade Videos.

    1. Grand Prix/Demolition Derby by Astrocade, Inc. (Cartridge Game Overview) by Adam Trionfo
    2. Sideswipe by Mike Peace (BASIC Game Overview) by Adam Trionfo
    3. Blue Ram Hardware Expansion by Perkins Engineering (Hardware Overview) by Adam Trionfo
    4. The Blue Ram Operating Guide, a Blue Ram BASIC Tutorial by Ken Lill (Blue Ram BASIC Program Overview) by Adam Trionfo
    5. Bally Artillery by John Rhodes (BASIC Game Overview) by Adam Trionfo
    6. Machine Language Manager Tutorial, Part 1: Overview and Background by Adam Trionfo
    1. Bally Aracade/Astrocade Video Area

October 23, 2018

  1. Added David Turner's updated in-progress Z80 disassembly of Midways arcade game, Gorf.

    1. Gorf Z80 Disassembly
  2. Added links to six Astrocade Videos.

    1. Bally BASIC and "AstroBASIC" Overview with Review and How to Use Instructions (Tutorial) by Adam Trionfo
    2. Candy Man by L&M Software (Game Overview) by Adam Trionfo
    3. Crown of Zeus, The by Todd Johnson (Game Overview) by Adam Trionfo
    4. GORF Arcade Game, released by Midway Mfg. Co. (Game Overview) by Adam Trionfo
    5. Nuke the #%@$*&!! by Jay Fenton (Game Overview) by Adam Trionfo
    6. Snake Snack, by Ken Lill (Game Overview) by Adam Trionfo

      Bally Aracade/Astrocade Video Area

October 22, 2018

  1. Added links to ten Astrocade Videos.

    1. 280 Zzzap! / Dodgem by By Bally Mfg. (Game Overview) by Adam Trionfo
    2. Astrocade Promotional Video (Circa 1982) by Astrovision, Inc.
    3. Caterpillar by Thadd*Pro (Kevin O'Neill) (Game Overview) by Adam Trionfo
    4. Galactic Invasion (Captured Video vs. TV Comparison) by Adam Trionfo
    5. Hot Rod Bally BASIC (Circa 1982 VHS Video Demonstration) by Jay Fenton
    6. Ms. Candyman by L&M Software (Andy Guevara) (Game Overview) by Adam Trionfo
    7. Sneaky Snake by New Image (Game Overview) by Adam Trionfo
    8. Super Slope by Esoterica Ltd (Game Overview) by Adam Trionfo
    9. S-Video Upgrade Kit Installation for Bally Arcade and Astrocade by Adam Trionfo
    10. The Mummy's Treasure by L&M Software (Game Overview) by Adam Trionfo

    1. Bally Aracade/Astrocade Video Area

October 19, 2018

  1. Added links to three Astrocade Videos.

    1. Arcadian Promotional Video (VHS Demonstration Footage), Created by Bob Fabris - The higher-quality version (4.8GB) has been added to archive.org. The original version of this VHS-to-DVD conversion was highly compressed to just 230MB.
    2. O-Jello by Clyde Perkins (Game Overview)
    3. Space Gauntlet by Tiny Arcade, programmed by Tom McConnell (Game Overview)
    1. Bally Aracade/Astrocade Video Area

October 18, 2018

  1. Added links to eleven Astrocade Videos.

    1. aMAZEd in SPACE by Aquila and Richard Houser (Game Overview)
    2. "Artillery Duel: Type-In BASIC Program vs. Cartridge" (Game Comparison)
    3. Bally BASIC Demo by Bally Mfg. Corp. (Game Footage)
    4. Bally Dealer Demo by Bally Mfg. Corp. (Game Footage)
    5. Bangman by Ernie Sams (Game Overview)
    6. Christmas Special by Lance F. Squire (Game Footage)
    7. "Color BASIC VHS demonstration video" (Game Footage)
    8. Dog Patch (Game Overview)
    9. Incredible Wizard, The by Astrocade, Inc. (Game Footage)
    10. Q-B2B by WaveMakers (Game Footage)(Captured with MyGica HP Cap X)
    11. Q-B2B by WaveMakers (Game Overview)(Filmed with Canon Powershot SX60 HS Camera)
    12. Slot Machine by Ernie Sams (Game Overview)
    1. Bally Aracade/Astrocade Video Area

October 17, 2018

  1. Revamped the area that holds videos related to the Bally Arcade/Astrocade. This update began so that a video art area could be added to the website. The video art area now has 11 new videos in it. Other Astrocade-related videos have also been added to the various video areas. The update is in-progress and will be done in a few weeks.

    1. Bally Aracade/Astrocade Video Area

September 28, 2018

  1. Added Mod 2 by Dan Sandin from Computer Graphics and Art, 1980-1981 Yearbook 5.

    MOD 2, is a Bally BASIC video art program, that appeared in an article called Pix-Art by Frank Dietrich and Zsuzsanna Molnar. This article covers the Bally Arcade as a low-cost solution to create graphics using Bally BASIC and the ZGrass language. It specifically talks about several pieces of art that were written using the two languages. Some of the video art pictures are included in the article, as well as some source code for a few programs.

    Dan Sandin's program needs about fifteen minutes to finish a single one of these MOD images, consisting of circles which seem to be mapped onto globes. This compact 10-line program uses only two nested loops to create the basic structure which scans the whole screen.

    1. Mod 2 by Dan Sandin

September 26, 2018

  1. Added additional details, descriptions and an updated rough version of a map of the game's layout for John Collin's Treasures of Cathy game. This version of the map is labeled 1.2.

    1. AstroBASIC Treasures of Cathy Program/Map Download

September 20, 2018

  1. Added David Turner's in-progress Z80 disassembly of Midways arcade game, Gorf.

    In 2018, Jamie Fenton (formally Jay Fenton), the programmer of Gorf, donated documentation and hardware items to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA. This included Gorf source code and other documentation related to the game. Gorf was not written in machine language, it was written in a Forth-like language called TERSE (Terse Efficient Recursive Stack Engine) that was developed at DNA.

    After the TERSE source code for Gorf became available, David Turner, an avid fan of the game, began to use the game's source code to disassemble Gorf and comment it. Details of his work, as well as his in-progress Z80 disassembly for Gorf is in this archive.

    1. Gorf Z80 Disassembly
  2. Added an updated map of the game's layout for John Collin's Treasures of Cathy game.

    1. AstroBASIC Treasures of Cathy Program Download

September 12, 2018

  1. Added additional details, description and a rough version of a map of the game's layout for John Collin's Treasures of Cathy game.

    This adventure-style game has 49 locations with 18 treasures. You can only carry six treasures/items at a time. Each treasure gives additional points. Each move subtracts one point. Try for a score greater than 1,000 points. There are four keywords: IN, UP, DROP and GET.

    1. AstroBASIC Treasures of Cathy Program Download

September 6, 2018

  1. Added a January 1, 1983 letter to Bally Arcade/Astrocade vendors By Bob Fabris.

    On December 30, 1982, Astrocade, Inc. declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Bob Fabris wrote this letter, hopefully of opportunity, to many of the venders who wrote software and created hardware for the Astrocade. Bob hoped to be able to carry the thousands of Astrocade users through the coming drought brought on by the declaration of bankruptcy. This one-page letter describes Bobs ideas on how to do this for Astrocade owners and distributors.

    1. Letter to Bally Arcade/Astrocade Vendors

August 26, 2018

  1. Added brief descriptions to the ten pictures of Michael Matte's hi-res Bally Arcade/Astrocade. Michael has also written a "tour" that provides detailed information on MCM Design's low/hi-res Astrocade for anyone desiring to take the challenge and build such an Astrocade. The details may help provide ideas for creation of someone's own version of a hi-res Astrocade.

    1. Hi-Res Astrocade by Michael Matte

August 16, 2018

  1. Added ten pictures of Michael Matte's Bally Arcade/Astrocade, which he upgraded from "consumer" mode, low-resolution (160x102), to "commercial" mode, high-resolution (320x204).

    1. Hi-Res Astrocade by Michael Matte

August 6, 2018

  1. Added Repeating Typewriter by Clyde Perkins. This type-in listing was sent to John Perkins from his father, Clyde in 1982. The notes in the letter are "Try this one the next time you want to mail out 100 or so letters."

    1. Repeating Typewriter by Clyde Perkins

June 10, 2018

  1. The Machine Language Manager is a machine language monitor cartridge for an unexpanded Astrocade. It can be used to write short routines in machine language. The cartridge has been converted to a WAV file and can be loaded into an Astrocade RAM expansion and run as a cartridge. Programs must be saved using the 300-baud interface.).

    1. Machine Language Manager (2000-baud "Tape" version)
  2. Added "Cleaning a RAW Binary (Non-BASIC) WAV file with BallyBin and AstroWAV" by Adam Trionfo.

    These are general instructions on how to clean an Astrocade's RAW 2000-baud binary recording created with the Blue Ram Utility using BallyBin and AstroWAV 2.

    1. Cleaning a RAW Binary (Non-BASIC) WAV file with BallyBin and AstroWAV

June 12, 2018

  1. Added a preliminary Z80 disassembly (version .02) of Bally Pin (aka Astrocade Pinball).

    1. Bally Pin Z80 Disassembly

June 11, 2018

  1. Added a preliminary Z80 disassembly (version .01) of Bally Pin (aka Astrocade Pinball). This game was released in 1979 by Bally Mfg. Corp. It was programmed by Bob Ogdon and the audio was created by Scot Norris.

    The idea to hack the tables in Bally Pin led to this disassembly of the game. Only about 2 1/2 hours were spent on this disassembly. It's really just an example of how quickly progress can be made using some of the tools available on BallyAlley.com.

    1. Bally Pin Z80 Disassembly

June 7, 2018

  1. Added Bally Artillery by John W. Rhodes. This is a type-in game listing for Bally BASIC. This was published in the August 1982 Creative Computing magazine.

    John Rhodes writes: "I particularly liked the artillery game that Compucolor called 'Shoot.' This game generates a random terrain display and wind factor and positions two artillery emplacements on the screen so that two opponents can take turns trying to obliterate each other. Eventually I resolved that I either had to buy a Compucolor or program this game on my Bally. I chose the latter."

    1. Bally Artillery, by John Rhodes.

June 1, 2018

  1. Added an "AstroBASIC" version of the Color Organ/Light Show Demo by L&M Software. This is the September 1980 Bally BASIC version that has been saved in "AstroBASIC's" 2000-baud format. This program was designed to work with the L&M interface unit, which probably plugged into hand controller ports 2 and 4. Moving the knobs on those two controllers has the effect of simulating (to a limited extent) the "stereo" input that the stereo hardware interface would have allowed.

    1. Color Organ/Light Show Demo, by L&M Software.

May 29, 2018

  1. Added the Datamax UV-1R, ZGRASS Graphics System: Operator's Manual by Real Time Design, Inc. This version of the manual is from January 4, 1983.

    The Datamax UV-1R Zgrass Graphics System is a highly interactive, dedicated micro-computer color graphics system designed to easily produce visuals in motion. The UV-1R (University Version 1 Rack-mount) hardware is Z80 microprocessor-based. The Zgrass (Z80 GRAphics Symbiosis System) software is both a high-level computer graphics language and a sophisticated operating system. The EPROM (Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory) firmware houses Zgrass and allows for easy software updates. The system's heritage derives from video arcade games, and the high-speed animation "tricks" so easily programmed on this computer are a result of the development of video game technology and custom video chips.

    1. Datamax UV-1R, ZGRASS Graphics System: Operator's Manual, by Real Time Design, Inc.
  2. Added a Viper System Pamphlet by Alternative Engineering.

    The cover of this pamphlet says Video Image Processing Equipment Research. This four-page document has specifications for the Viper System 1, 16K Memory Expansion for the Bally Arcade/Astrocade.

    1. Viper System Pamphlet, by Alternative Engineering.
  3. Added a Viper Update Letter by Alternative Engineering from October 1, 1982.

    This two-page letter to "All Bally/Astrocade Owners" has new products announcements and prices for Bally Arcade / Astrocade Viper System 5, Viper System Keyboard, System 1 Board Kit and Vipersoft BASIC. The products are described and prices are given for both assembled products and kits that users can build themselves.

    1. Viper Update Letter, by Alternative Engineering.

May 10, 2018

  1. Added an article called Blue Ram BASIC Corner: A Few Well Aimed POKES by Clyde Perkins. This article is from Arcadian 5, no. 12 (Oct. 24, 1983): 179.

    This article helps to explain how to use most of the RAM on the 16K and 32K Blue Ram units.

    1. Blue Ram BASIC Corner: A Few Well Aimed POKES, by Clyde Perkins.

May 7, 2018

  1. Added an article called A Power Transformer Substitution for the Bally/Astrocade Computer System.

    If your original Bally power supply fails, and you have experience in electronics, then these instructions explain how to build a substitute power transformer.

    1. A Power Transformer Substitution for the Bally/Astrocade Computer System, by Michael Matte (MCM Design).

April 9, 2018

  1. Added a screenshot thumbnail for the WaveMakers Blue RAM BASIC version of the maze game, Pack Rat.

    1. Pack Rat for Blue Ram BASIC

April 2, 2018

  1. Added an article by Michael Matte (MCM Design) called Troubleshooting the Power Supply in the Bally/Astrocade Home Computer System. This was written February 21, 2018.

    This article is for the individual desiring to learn how to troubleshoot the power supply in the Bally/Astrocade home computer. Included is info and troubleshooting tips that may help locate a failure within the power supply. I hope that this information proves helpful to those with failing Astrocades. Remember, working with power supplies can be dangerous; be careful!

    1. Troubleshooting the Power Supply in the Bally/Astrocade Home Computer System by Michael Matte

January 29, 2018

  1. Added an archive version of the Bally Alley Astrocast, episode 5 (October 12, 2016) along with its show notes.

    Episode 5 of the Bally Alley Astrocast doesn't cover a game this episode. Chris has left as a co-host, so the review of The Incredible Wizard has been pushed to episode 6. Paul and I cover the Arcadian newsletter issues 5 and 6 (March and May 1979). We cover a bit of feedback too. Paul and I discuss eleven letters to the Arcadian, dating mostly from the Spring of 1979.

    1. Bally Alley Astrocast, Episode 5: Arcadian Newsletter (March and May 1979)
  2. Added an archive version of the Bally Alley Astrocast, episode 6 (November 22, 2016) along with its show notes.

    Episode 6 of the Bally Alley Astrocast covers The Incredible Wizard, the port of the arcade game Wizard of Wor. Paul and I are joined by our new co-host Michael Di Salvo. Paul and I cover the Arcadian newsletter issues 7 and 8 (June and July 1979). Paul and I discuss six letters to the Arcadian, dating from the Spring and Summer of 1979.

    1. Bally Alley Astrocast, Episode 6 - The Incredible Wizard and
      Arcadian Newsletter (June and July 1979)
  3. Added an archive version of the Bally Alley Astrocast, episode 7 (February 1, 2017) along with its show notes.

    In episode 7 of the Bally Alley Astrocast Chris and I review the Dog Patch cartridge, the 1980 Astrocade port of the 1978 B&W Dog Patch arcade game. Due to scheduling conflicts, Paul and Michael could not record for this episode, so Chris is co-hosting the show with Adam.

    1. Bally Alley Astrocast, Episode 7 - Dog Patch and O-Jello
  4. Added an archive version of the Bally Alley Astrocast, episode 8 (March 12, 2017) along with its show notes.

    In episode 8 of the Bally Alley Astrocast, Paul, Michael and I review the 4K Blast Droids cartridge that Esoterica released in 1983. This game was written by Dan Drescher, and J.P. Curran. We also review the BASIC game Haunted House released by New Image in 1981. Paul and I discuss the contents and programs included in the August and September 1979 issues of the Arcadian newsletter. We also read feedback from Arcadian readers that sent letters and postcards to Bob Fabris concerning the July 1979 survey question that asked if users would purchase a third-party keyboard and RAM upgrade. Lastly, we cover about ten letters that cover general topics that were sent to the Arcadian from late July to September 1979.

    1. Bally Alley Astrocast, Episode 8 - Blast Droids and Haunted House

January 28, 2018

  1. Added an archive version of the Bally Alley Astrocast, episode 2 (July 1, 2016) along with its show notes.

    Episode 2 of the Bally Alley Astrocast covers the cartridge game Red Baron/Panzer Attack and the BASIC game (released on tape) Castle of Horror.  Issues 3-5 (from June to October 1978) of the Arcadians newsletter are covered in detail.  We also discuss: news, feedback, a few classic letters to the Arcadian from Ernie Sams (who discusses JS&A, the company that originally sold the Astrocade) and Richard Belton (who covers the Maryland User Group).  Finally, there is an interview with Ward Shrake, who created multicarts for several systems, including one for the Bally Arcade/Astrocade.

    1. Bally Alley Astrocast, Episode 2 - Red Baron/Panzer Attack and Castle of Horror
  2. Added an archive version of the Bally Alley Astrocast, episode 3 (July 26, 2016) along with its show notes.

    Episode 3 of the Bally Alley Astrocast covers the cartridge game Crazy Climber and the BASIC game (released on tape) Missile Defense. Chris and I discuss what we've been up to lately. Arcadian newsletter issues 1 and 2 (November and December 1978) are covered in detail.  We discuss a bit of feedback. Chris, Paul and I go discuss the very first ad for the Bally Home Library computer (from September 1977). I read from a few letters that JS&A (the mail order company that originally sold the Bally Home Library Computer) sent to customers. The show ends with a one-minute rendition of the Happy Days theme song.

    1. Bally Alley Astrocast, Episode 3 - Crazy Climber and Missile Defense
  3. Added an archive version of the Bally Alley Astrocast, episode 4 (August 14, 2016) along with its show notes.

    Episode 4 of the Bally Alley Astrocast covers the Bally Arcade/Astrocade cartridge game Sea Devil and the BASIC type-in game (published in the Arcadian newsletter) The Pits. Chris and I discuss, as always, what we've been up to lately. Paul and I cover the Arcadian newsletter issues 3 and 4 (January and February 1979).  We cover a bit of feedback too (we could always use more though-- so keep it coming to us). Paul and I discuss seven letters to the Arcadian, dating from late 1978 and early 1979. The show ends with a short tune called Golden Slippers played from a type-in program called Player Piano from the Bally BASIC manual.

    1. Bally Alley Astrocast, Episode 4 - Sea Devil and The Pits

January 27, 2018

  1. Rachel Weil's (aka "hxlnt") GitHub annotated Z80 assembly source code, binaries, and dev tools for the Bally Astrocade.

    1. GitHub Astrocade Code Repository
  2. Added a modified version of the homebrew "Happy Birthday" demo program.

    "hxlnt" posted to the AtariAge forums on Monday, January 22, 2018 at 9:11PM with a fixed-up version of the birthday tune. She says, "Speaking of sound, I noticed a request on the Bally Alley website to clean up some of the notes in the Happy Birthday music demo, so I took a shot at it."

    1. How to Modify an Astrocade Cartridge PC Board for a 28-Pin Chip

January 18, 2018

  1. Added an archive version of the Bally Alley Astrocast, episode 1 (June 16, 2016) along with its show notes. This episode covers the two built-in games Gunfight and Checkmate.  The first two issues of the Arcadians newsletter (from April and May 1978) are covered in detail.  Also discussed are the recent additions to the BallyAlley.com website, news and much more Bally Arcade goodness!

    1. Bally Alley Astrocast, Episode 1: Gunfight and Checkmate

January 15, 2018

  1. Added an archive version of the Bally Alley Astrocast, episode 0 (June 3, 2016) along with its show notes. In this podcast's introductory episode, the show's two hosts discuss what will be covered in future episodes of the Bally Alley Astrocast.

    1. Bally Alley Astrocast, Episode 0: Introduction

October 31, 2017

  1. Added ASTEC UM1291-1 RF Modulator: PC Board Layout, Schematics, and Datasheet. Information provided by Michael Matte, National Semiconductor and ASTEC International Limited.

    This document includes various pieces of information about the ASTEC UM1291-1 RF modulator, the original modulator used in the Bally Arcade/Astrocade. Included here is the PC board layout, schematic, an excerpt from the LM1889 TV Video Modulator datasheet, and ASTEC's internal product specification.

    1. ASTEC UM1291-1 RF Modulator PC Board Layout, Schematics, and Datasheet

October 30, 2017

  1. Added How to Modify an Astrocade Cartridge for EPROM/EEPROM Support by Michael Matte.

    Includes a schematic of a modified videocade (Bally Arcade/Astrocade cartridge) to support/test programmed EPROM/EEPROMs. Michael modified a videocade cartridge and wired it as indicated on the attached schematic back in the 1980s. He may originally have been thinking in terms of EPROMs, but eventually wired a 16-pin header for use with an 9K EEPROM. He also inserted a 32K EEPROM because they're really cheap now. No changes were required.

    1. How to Modify an Astrocade Cartridge for EPROM/EEPROM Support
  2. Added How to Modify an Astrocade Cartridge PC Board for a 28-Pin Chip by Michael Matte.

    Includes a schematic which shows an example of utilizing a 28-pin EPROM/EEPROM in a standard videocade cartridge. Drawing shows traces cut with a sharp utility knife and rewired. Basic instructions are also included.

    1. How to Modify an Astrocade Cartridge PC Board for a 28-Pin Chip

October 28, 2017

  1. Added 'An In-Depth Look At...' Series Samples by Michael Matte. This sample was created in October of 2017.

    Two samples of the kind of information not found in the "Nutting Manual" that can be expected to be seen in Michael Matte's upcoming series. First is a page from Michael's Sentry Subroutine #66 document, a Sentry breakdown listing. Second is a three-page description of Write Absolute subroutine #38.

    1. 'An In-Depth Look At...' Series Samples

October 27, 2017

  1. Added SetScreen 2 - An Upgraded Bally Arcade/Astrocade Troubleshooting Utility by Michael Matte.

    SetScreen 2 is an improved version of the original SetScreen, a machine language routine. Setscreen 2 is a visual troubleshooting tool that can be used to help diagnose a failed Astrocade motherboard producing a blank TV screen at power-up. Details are provided in Troubleshooting the Bally/Astrocade Motherboard Power-Up with SetScreen, A New Tool. SetScreen 2 now has added routines to help a troubleshooter further investigate what is or is not going on with a motherboard graphics-wise and to provide more information to diagnose and isolate a problem area. A read routine is also included for a user who can connect a homemade dual 7-segment display.

    1. SetScreen 2 - An Upgraded Bally Arcade/Astrocade Troubleshooting Utility

October 25, 2017

  1. Added Astrocade Keypad Repair by Michael Matte.

    Do you have a key on your Astrocade keypad that doesn't function or is broken? With care and patience, the keypad is fixable. This is Michael's three-page handwritten guide to fixing broken keys on an Astrocade 24-key keypad.

    1. Astrocade Keypad Repair

October 24, 2017

  1. Added Hi-Res Textured 10 Color Test Pattern by Michael Matte.

    This program is an upgraded hi-res version of Bit Fiddler's "Standard Color Generator" listed in the Machine Language Manager's User Manual on page 7-4. This output a very cool graphic pattern on a 20" RF TV using composite video output. The routine is self-supporting and uses NO outside CALLs.

    1. Hi-Res Textured 10 Color Test Pattern

October 14, 2017

  1. Added Balcheck Supplemental Info by Michael Matte.

    This document is a tutorial that explains how to use the BalCheck hardware and its software to diagnose a failing Bally Arcade/Astrocade console.

    1. Balcheck Supplemental Info
  2. Added Troubleshooting the Bally/Astrocade Motherboard Power-Up with SetScreen, A New Tool by Michael Matte.

    This document is for anyone with experience in troubleshooting the Bally/Astrocade motherboard. It explains one method on how to fix an Astrocade using step-by-step methods. It was written by Michael Matte, the person who designed and built a modified Astrocade that runs with low or high resolution graphics. Specifically, this document addresses the scenario in which a blank TV screen appears when powering on a motherboard and describes a new, very useful tool to help isolate the problem area.

    1. Troubleshooting the Bally/Astrocade Motherboard Power-Up with SetScreen, A New Tool

October 12, 2017

  1. Added pictures and screenshot of Michael Matte's high-resolution Astrocade.

    Included is a picture of Michael Matte's Hi-Res Astrocade system. Besides the obvious QWERTY keyboard addition, there is also an external keypad. Although the system has a Viper attached to it, that is only the case: the actual Viper hardware is not inside there, instead, it contains Michael's hi-res upgrade.

    Two screenshots are of the low-res game Gunfight and the low-res menu running on a hi-res system. The third screenshot is a version of the MLM (Machine Language Monitor) cartridge that has been specially modified to work with the Michael's hi-res system.

    1. Michael Matte's Hi-Res Astrocade Area

August 30, 2017

  1. Added a screenshot of Michael Matte's high-resolution Astrocade.

    In August 2017, Michael Matte continued to work on some projects with his Astrocade that he upgraded from the Bally's standard low-resolution (160x102) to High-Resolution (320x204) in the mid-1980s. Near the end of August 2017, he took a screenshot of a hi-res demo that he wrote to test the unit.

    1. Hi-Res Astrocade Screenshot
  2. Added a two-page sheet with the DIP Switch Settings for the UltiMulti Cartridge 3.2 by GaMBITS (Ken Lill).

    Version 3.2 of the UltiMulti settings has a few fixes to the DIP Switch settings, as well as some additions to the cartridge, including a working version of Color BASIC that can now load and save via the 300-baud interface.

    1. UltiMulti Cartridge 3.2 DIP Switch Settings
  3. Added two pictures of the UltiMulti Cartridge 3.2 by GaMBITS (Ken Lill).

    1. UltiMulti Cartridge 3.2 Pictures

August 18, 2017

  1. Added an alternate cartridge version of Treasure Cove in a black cartridge shell.

    1. Treasure Cove with black Shell

August 7, 2017

  1. Added alternate version of instructions for the prototype game, Conan the Barbarian. These instructions, in PDF format, include tips, strategy and screenshots.

    1. Conan the Barbarian, Instructions with Tips, Strategy and Screenshots

August 6, 2017

  1. Added handwritten Z80 source code for Michael Matte's EEPROM Programmer. This program uses Bit Fiddler's Machine Language Manager (MLM) to copy to EEPROM. Call 4E10H. Source to copy begins at 6000H. Copy destination is at 8000H.

    1. EEPROM Programmer

June 26, 2017

  1. Added a Z80 disassembly of 1983's Ms. Candyman released by L&M Software and programmed by Andy Guevara. This game is a 4K cartridge released for the Bally Arcade. Ms. Candyman is the sequel to Candy Man, which was released on tape.

    1. Ms. Candyman Disassembly

June 19, 2017

  1. Added Crosshatch by Adam Trionfo. This short "AstroBASIC" program draws a crosshatch pattern to the Bally's screen using the '#' marks. The program was written so that a digital camera can be pointed at a TV screen to take pictures (screenshots) and videos. The pattern helps to focus the camera and check for level, as well as to center the TV in the frame.

    1. Crosshatch

June 5, 2017

  1. Added three "AstroBASIC" programs for use with the Spectre Control Handle, often called the ICBM Attack controller. These programs are from the Spectre Handle documentation. The three programs are Animated Box, Get the Box and Keypad Game.

    1. Spectre Control Handle Demo Programs

May 29, 2017

  1. Added a picture of the PCB of the Vipersoft BASIC prototype cartridge with the built-in audio interface.

    1. Vipersoft BASIC Prototype Cartridge

May 27, 2017

  1. Added Michael Matte's complete, 42-page breakdown of the Astrocade game Gunfight. This breakdown will be most useful if used with the source code for the Bally's 8K system ROM, which is available in the "Nutting Manual."

    In the 1980s, Michael Matte, a passionate Astrocade user, used the Z80 source code listing for the 8K ROM, available in the "Nutting Manual," as a basis for his detailed breakdown of Gunfight. Michael created the breakdown "to provide beginner assembly or machine language programmers an inside look at the game Gunfight. The documentation will reveal how on-board subroutines in the System ROM can be used to execute particular tasks. The 'special routines' listing can be used as a reference source for programming demos or games."

    1. Gunfight: A Z80 Instruction by Instruction Breakdown

March 22, 2017

  1. Added version .05 of The Incredible Wizard Z80 disassembly. In this update, completed on April 22, 2016, Lance Squire found the "sprite" drawing routines: DRWSP DRaW SPrite and DRWFL DRaW FLopped sprite.

    1. The Incredible Wizard Disassembly

March 20, 2017

  1. Added CHRDIS by Mike Skala. This tutorial series, and its accompanying programs, were published across three issues of the Arcadian: CHRDIS I. Arcadian 5, no. 1 (Nov. 5, 1982): 14-15., CHRDIS II. Arcadian 5, no. 2 (Dec. 3, 1982): 37., and CHRDIS III. Arcadian 5, no. 4 (Feb. 18, 1983): 72.

    This three-part CHRDIS article describes how to use the Bally Arcade's built-in Character Display routine from within Bally BASIC. I think that the programs included in the article are "AstroBASIC"-only, but the general principles talked about in the article should apply to Bally BASIC too.

    "I've seen quite a bit of software lately utilizing the Graphic Character Maker, a machine code routine that Arcadian has published in the past year. This allowed us to use a display routine from the on-board ROM and put complex graphics on the screen instantly, rather than a slow series of BOX and LINE commands. The major drawback here was when moving the graphics, erasing and redrawing: it left us with considerable flashing or blinking. If you have been with us for a while, you know that we are continually evolving and improving; the following tutorial is our new generation of screen animation for the Astrocade!"

    1. CHRDIS - by Mike Skala

March 9, 2017

  1. Added Palo Alto Tiny BASIC, Version 3 by Li-Chen Wang. This article (which includes the source code and assembly listing) is excerpted from pages 58-88 of the 1977 book PCC's Reference Book of Personal And Home Computing, Edited by Dwight McCabe.

    Bally BASIC (and "AstroBASIC") are a superset of the original Palo Alto Tiny BASIC.

    This version of Li-Chen Wang's Palo Alto Tiny BASIC will run on either the 8080 or Z-80, and only uses 2K of core memory. It contains a number of nice features including command abbreviations and error messages. At the end of the listing is a cross reference table for symbols used in the program and also the object code for the program. For further information on Tiny BASIC languages, see Dr. Dobb's Journal, Volume 1.

    1. Palo Alto Tiny BASIC, Version 3 - by Li-Chen Wang

March 8, 2017

  1. Added High-Res 'Test Rotate' Routine by Michael Matte. This was written in 2017.

    The "Rotate" routine rotates a 4x4 pixel pattern that resides in the Astrocade's user RAM. This routine was written for use on a modified high resolution Astrocade, but it includes instructions on how to modify the routine to work on a low-res unit.

    1. High-Res "Test Rotate" Routine - by Michael Matte

February 24, 2017

  1. Added The Crown of Zeus castle map by Edward Mahoney. This was sent to Bob Fabris on April 20 1983. Edward created a map for Todd Johnson's game, The Crown of Zeus-- which was published in Arcadian 5, no. 1 (Nov. 5, 1982): 7-10. An excerpt from Edward's letter says:

    "The reason I'm writing is to share with you the attached drawings of what I think the castle in The Crown of Zeus (volume 5:1:7) by Todd Johnson looks like. I would like to know if anyone has written this program to produce graphics on the screen of the movement from room-to-room. I think this would be a great program to see with graphic displays. Perhaps, some of those great programmers that write in the Arcadian can publish game graphics for this program."

    1. The Crown of Zeus - Castle Map by Edward Mahoney
  2. Added floor plans for Todd Johnson's The Crown of Zeus. These floor plans were created by Kent Brenden and sent to the Arcadian on July 9, 1983. The Crown of Zeus was originally published in Arcadian 5, no. 1 (Nov. 5, 1982): 7-10. Here is an excerpt from Kent's letter:

    "The graph paper enclosed contains the floor plans [for The Crown of Zeus]. Each level is labeled, each room is numbered with it's exits shown. The set of lines that extends from one room to another indicate a passageway from one room to another. If the set of lines don't go into another room (as with room 13, level 3), this indicates that you can leave the room but once out of that room you can't reenter that room."

    Kent made some changes to the program (which are included). These changes make the game a little easier to play. Included in the letter is a hint for Artillery Duel (probably the BASIC version of the game), which makes it nearly impossible for the other player to hit you. Ken also talks about File Searcher, scrolling, Magic RAM, and the CHRDIS (Chraracter Display) on-board subroutine.

    1. The Crown of Zeus - Floor Plans by Kent Brenden

February 22, 2017

  1. Added BASIC listing of Bob Mueller's 1980 Bally BASIC game, Slot Machine. This was printed in the January 1980 issue of the Arcadian newsletter. This version of Slot Machine has an interesting set of graphics as the "reels" rotate.

    This is the original Arcadian program submission letter, extensive program documentation (which was omitted from the Arcadian's printing of Slot Machine) and the handwritten Bally BASIC listing of the Slot Machine code.

    1. Slot Machine - Original submission letter, program and documentation
  2. Added the original program submission letter, handwritten BASIC listing and documentation for the "AstroBASIC" game called The Crown of Zeus by Todd Johnson. This was printed in Arcadian 5, no. 1 (Nov. 5, 1982): 7-10.

    This game takes you to a dark decaying castle in the evil land of Sorom. You've been asked, as the best warrior in the land of Beekum, to retrieve the Crown of Zeus which the Scromites have stolen. The crown, when worn, gives the wearer the awesome ability to cause anything he or she wishes to vanish.

    1. The Crown of Zeus - Original submission letter, program and documentation

February 20, 2017

  1. Added BASIC listing of John Collin's 1980 Bally BASIC adventure game, Bally's Alley.

    An adventure game; one player. Game can last for days or weeks; can save at any point for restart; can go in nine directions; find the ten treasures and return to house; can only carry four treasures at one time. Each move subtracts a point. A magic word-sound-color will be helpful.

    1. Bally's Alley - Type-In BASIC Listing with instructions.

February 17, 2017

  1. Added digitally archived, Bally BASIC, 300-baud programs by WaveMakers.

    1. Perversion (300-Baud)
    2. Sideswipe (300-Baud)
    3. Slot Machine (300-Baud)
    4. Space Chase (300-Baud)
    5. Speed Math / Note Match (300-Baud)
    6. WaveMakers' Fortune Teller (300-Baud)
    7. Wavemakers Tapes Are (300-Baud)
    8. Yahtzee (300-Baud)

February 16, 2017

  1. Added six digitally archived, Bally BASIC, 300-baud programs by WaveMakers.

    1. Maze Race and Obstacle Course (300-Baud)
    2. Memory Doodle (300-Baud)
    3. Mouse in the Hat (300-Baud)
    4. Music Composer (300-Baud)
    5. Obstacle Course Tournament (300-Baud)
    6. Pack-Rat I and Pack-Rat II (300-Baud)

February 15, 2017

  1. Added a partial disassembly of the 1983 4K game cartridge Blast Droids by Esoterica.

    This game was written by Dan Drescher, and J.P. Curran. This disassembly was started November 30, 2016 by Adam Trionfo. Most of the game's graphics have been found, but much of the code has not been disassembled.

  2. Added nine digitally archived, Bally BASIC, 300-baud programs by WaveMakers.

    1. Backgammon (300-Baud)
    2. Brick 'N The Wall (300-Baud)
    3. Clue (300-Baud)
    4. Guitar Course (300-Baud)
    5. Horse Race (300-Baud)
    6. Invasion Force (300-Baud)
    7. Lookout for the Bull! (300-Baud)
    8. Max (Robot From Space) (300-Baud)
    9. Mazemaker I and II (300-Baud)

February 6, 2017

  1. Added two different BASIC listings of Tiny Arcade's 1982 game Space Gauntlet.
    1. Space Gauntlet (Printed BASIC Listing)
    2. Space Gauntlet (Hand-Written BASIC Listing)

January 25, 2017

  1. Added TV Output Notes, by Marc Calson (possibly a misspelling of Mark Carlson).

    The four pages of this document were created using the output of a short 10-line, BASIC program. The author methodically noted down four sets of numbers for each ASCII character. This information nicely supplements the August 1979 issue of the Arcadian's music coverage from Robert Hood (American Concert Frequencies) and the second part of Chuck Thomka's music tutorial, The Music Synthesizer.

    1. TV Output Notes, By Marc Calson (1979)

January 24, 2017

  1. Added a letter, from about 1979, from Tracy Crook to Bob Fabris.
    1. Tracy Crook Letter (About 1979)
  2. Added a July 23, 1979 letter from Ed Mulholland to Bob Fabris.
    1. Ed Mulholland Letter (July 23, 1979)
  3. Added a July 29, 1979 letter from Robert Dahl to Bob Fabris.
    1. Robert Dahl Letter (July 29, 1979)
  4. Added a July 30, 1979 letter from Andy Guevara to Bob Fabris.
    1. Andy Guevara Letter (July 30, 1979)
  5. Added a July 31, 1979 letter from Richard Dermody to Bob Fabris.
    1. Richard Dermody Letter (July 31, 1979)
  6. Added a July 31, 1979 letter from Guy McLimore to Bob Fabris.
    1. Guy McLimore Letter (July 31, 1979)
  7. Added an August 20, 1979 letter from Jeff Frederiksen to Bob Fabris.
    1. Jeff Frederiksen Letter (August 20, 1979)
  8. Added an August 31, 1979 letter from Jeff Grothaus to Bob Fabris.
    1. Jeff Grothaus Letter (August 31, 1979)
  9. Added a September 10, 1979 letter from Karen Nelson to Bob Fabris.
    1. Karen Nelson Letter (September 10, 1979)

January 23, 2017

  1. Added a 1979 letter from Paul Zibits to Bob Fabris.
    1. Paul Zibits Letter (Approximately July/August 1979)
  2. Added a 1979 letter from Kirk Gregg to Bob Fabris.
    1. Kirk Gregg Letter (Approximately July/August 1979)
  3. Added a July 31, 1979 letter from "Levin" to Bob Fabris.

    Bob has written the name "Levin" across the top of this letter. However, it seems to be signed by someone named (if I'm reading the signature correctly) Randy with a last name that begins with "F."

    1. "Levin" Letter (July 31, 1979)
  4. Added an August 2, 1979 letter from M. Lewitzke to Bob Fabris.
    1. M. Lewitzke Letter (August 2, 1979)
  5. Added an August 3, 1979 letter from Herb Weintraub to Bob Fabris.
    1. Herb Weintraub Letter (August 3, 1979)
  6. Added an August 4, 1979 letter from Richard Bates to Bob Fabris.
    1. Richard Bates Letter (August 4, 1979)
  7. Added an August 10, 1979 letter from Terry Kersey to Bob Fabris.
    1. Terry Kersey Letter (August 10, 1979)
  8. Added an August 11, 1979 letter from John Hurst to Bob Fabris.
    1. John Hurst Letter (August 11, 1979)
  9. Added an August 19, 1979 letter from Kelvyn Lach to Bob Fabris.
    1. Kelvyn Lach Letter (August 19, 1979)
  10. Added an August 24, 1979 letter from L Kingman to Bob Fabris.
    1. L Kingman Letter (August 24, 1979)
  11. Added an August 28, 1979 letter from Thomas Foster to Bob Fabris.
    1. Thomas Foster Letter (August 28, 1979)
  12. Added an August 28, 1979 letter from Curtis Schmidt to Bob Fabris.
    1. Curtis Schmidt Letter (August 28, 1979)
  13. Added a September 3, 1979 letter from Ken Stalter to Bob Fabris.
    1. Ken Stalter Letter (September 3, 1979)
  14. Added a September 5, 1979 letter from David Templeton to Bob Fabris.
    1. David Templeton Letter (September 5, 1979)
  15. Added a September 6, 1979 letter from Al Nowak to Bob Fabris.
    1. Al Nowak Letter (September 6, 1979)
  16. Added an October 16, 1979 letter from George Tucker to Bob Fabris.
    1. George Tucker Letter (October 16, 1979)
  17. Added a previously unpublished Arcadian submission called Leaning Aid for "&" Command by Chuck Thomka. This type-in program was written in January 1979.

    A five-page program that is purely Chuck's own concoction. This program uses all but about 150 bytes of memory and is somewhat involved, but is informative as to the workings of all the possible '&' commands.

    1. Leaning Aid for "&" Command by Chuck Thomka
  18. Added a previously unpublished Arcadian submission called Modified Player Piano for Learning Aid on the &16 - &23 Commands by Chuck Thomka.

    A single-page modification to an existing Bally program which allows easy and quick changes to '&16' through '&23 commands [the sound ports].

    1. Modified Player Piano for Learning Aid on the &16 - &23 Commands by Chuck Thomka
  19. Added a 1979 letter, probably written in late January, from Chuck Thomka to Bob Fabris.
    1. Chuck Thomka Letter (1979)

What's New Archives

  1. The BallyAlley "What's New" archive goes back to October 22, 2000. Bally Alley is actually slightly older than this date, but only by a few months. The "What's New" archive covers all of the older website updates dating back to 2000.
    1. What's New Archive (2016 - 2012)
    2. What's New Archive (2011 - 2000)