Wow - I remember programming in Action around 1986 or so. It was such a pleasure until I had programs that I just could not debug. Turns out some of the Action functions actually had bugs in them, so I had to rewrite certain subroutines. Took some of the fun out of it knowing those bugs (and perhaps others to be discovered) were hard coded in the cartridge.
Bank select cartridge held 16K but had an 8K footprint. This gave the user that much more RAM while programmin.
Rochester NY was one of the few places where betamax was more accepted than VHS, and when in The Flower City, the Lilac Festival is pronounced Lie'Lock not Lie-Lack. Kodak made a "Kodak Disc" pocket size camera around this time. Rochester = center of universe ?
The Action! 16KB cartridge itself is technologically unique with 4 banks of 4K , not sure the details now. Was it a kind of copy protection aimed at getting you to need the cart inserted for running Action language programs? Combined with the "Action! Runtime Library" the cartridge can be hacked to produce software that runs without a cartridge, as speedy as if it were crafted using Assembler.
Gods' Revenge - 05/08/2015
Just my opinion: Action! the best language cart, like 'C' for Atari tho I ended up using it to program entirely in binary. I'd use the editor to define variable labels and jump points then write code like [$A9 042 $8D MeaningOfLife] which says POKE MeaningOfLife = 42. Eventually I used an XL to swap ROM out for RAM in its place, and created my own operating system had my own DOS file system with 32 chr filenames upper and lower case plus punctuation.
You all have no idea. The supplied OS has a ton of junk slowing it down. Sending one chr over modem thru R: executes about 1000 bytes of code. I'd do it in about 10 instructions, 100X faster. Any game that hijacks the OS therefore XL/XE only could astound you and it's seldom done. The built in Vertical Blank Interrupt runs a ton of crap most apps don't need 60X a second every second and only a RAM OS can bypass it. Turning off video DMA when not in use also speeds up execution another 30% or such.
Action developed in Rochester NY really? Of all places... Rochester had its own phone company independent of Ma Bell, and, Eastman Kodak Co. Film was the world's first ever "flat screen". Chaz, I phoned your BBS at 300 baud in 1984 I even remember the name of it "CACTUS 800" if you're into big acronyms the first 2 letters must've been your moniker.
If you have an APE interface i can send you something that will let you turn cartridges into disk images contact me at NickH93@aim.com
Way back in the day, I wrote a little game called Midas Maze. If it wasn't for Action I wouldnt have even tried. I knew 6502 Assemble langauge, even had/have Mac/65. But Action allowed me the freedom to create, not worry about making sure all my code was correct the first time. I still own both carts and own 3 Ataris and an Indus GT disk drive. And once in a while for fun I boot up Action and just play.
Chaz Antonelli - 11/07/2008
The creator/author of Action was from Rochester, New York, USA. He came to my computer store (It's a MicroWorld) to one of our IMAUG (It's a Microworld Atari Users Group) meetings to demo it long before it came out commercially.
The OSS spanner logo is the official release.
I have an original Action cartridge by OSS dated 1984 but mine has a picture of a hexagonal nut with a spanner ? Seems to be different from the pictures shown.