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5/26/89
Memo: Julie Wade, Atari Corporation
Hello Julie,
Enclosed in "ARC" are two representative place-holder files which I will
refer to this weekend with the next files we submit. One file is a view of
today's current state of the timing bug. The other is a version of a utility
I am working on for the ST to do the cell animation for Super Stunt Cycle.
___ Regarding my animator program on the ST ___________________________________
A real animation utility for the 7800 has been needed since the beginning.
Early in the project I suggested that to Dave Staugas who explained to me
that a graphic utility WAS being written for the 7800 which would utilize the
7800's own video output. This was to supercede the method provided at the
outset of the project which uses NeoChrome and "NEO2S". NeoChrome is
excellent, but the "NEO2S" method was admittedly an incomplete system.
The awaited utility was never provided and I assume never finished. The
need for an advanced animation tool for the 7800 has always been clear. At
that time Dave said the utility was overdue, and something about its author
going back to school and taking a long time to finish.
On several occasions I requested the communications protocol with the
developer's emulator board, but was refused. I had hoped a simple disclosure
would have sufficed. Having that would have allowed me to interface other
graphic work stations. As you know there are many good ones that don't have
the fragmentation of NEO2S.
To fill the need, I learned to program the ST and wrote a utility of my own.
I will take some time this weekend to generate a reference card for it and
some animation data to demonstrate its use.
The animator accounts for much of the time that I was shy about reporting
because it was different from the standard Atari 7800 development method, and I
didn't want to argue its merits. Atari's unwillingness to allow me to interface
my favorite workstation convinced me not to make an issue of my ST animator.
I see that I should have explained sooner, even if it were criticized.
____ Regarding the bug on Top Rider ___________________________________________
Two types of animation are being merged, algorithmic and classic cell types.
Both are time-critical, and are influenced by the code reading from the Top
Rider. I am certain I can sort it out soon and will have it in order by this
weekend. Something closer to your requested milestone is possible by Tuesday
as you suggested to John Boeschen. I'll keep everyone more informed.
____ Expected completion of the project _______________________________________
I know I can have SSC running by the date we originally agreed, June 15th.
Is that acceptable? I tried to please everyone by doing it faster, but the
extra month of work on the Top Rider was more than I anticipated. Does anyone
doubt that I can do it? It would be TRULY fair if I were given time beyond the
original deadline to adjust for time spent on the Top Rider engineering.
Joining the Top Rider with the program has to be done in degrees, and that's
how I'll be doing it. I'll explain more details when time permits.
I have no modem for the ST, so I must do some RS232 file transfers to
another machine. It results in minutes of delay, so please bear with me.
Again I apologize for the misunderstandings I've caused. I could not avoid
the delays. I'm also sorry to have caused John Boeschen problems by agreeing
to do the Top Rider without his prior permission. I wanted to accept the
challenging offer from Larry Siegel in the friendly spirit he offered it. I
did after all succeed in the task! John is more practical than I am and would
have scheduled that extra work more realistically.
I hope to soon be forgiven and vindicated, and to have many more years to
give to Atari as I have for Atari in the past.
Jim St. Louis