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2003 Stan's Atari Excellence Awards
Atari  Achievement Award
2003 Stan's Atari Excellence Awards

Atari Achievement Award

Andrew Davie

If there has ever been an over-achiever, Andrew Davie is that person. Andrew did more for the 2600 community in the past year than most people can imagine in a lifetime! From breaking new ground in technology, to teaching new programmers the ins and outs of the 6502, Andrew has pretty much done it all.

Andrew DavieSo who is Andrew Davie? Well, unless you have been living in a hole, you have probably at least heard the name. Andrew Davie is a long time programmer whose accomplishments range from The Three Stooges for the NES, to modern Java fun time-wasters, to his wildly popular 2600 Homebrew Qb. (for a full account of Andrew's accomplishments see his gameography below) There is a very good chance, somewhere along the line, you have seen his work.

So why does Andrew get the award now? Well, 2003 was a banner year for Mr. Davie. First and foremost in probably everyone's mind is the groundbreaking technology Andrew developed this past year for the VCS. Starting with the Interleaved ChronoColour technology, Andrew set out on a path that would eventually have the Atari 2600 playing short movie clips with full sound! The Interleaved ChronoColour technology truly stretches the bounds of what you thought the Atari could do in terms of visual effects. The technology takes advantage of several 2600 programming "tricks" as well as the limitations of the human eye, to create what appear to be full color detailed images through the VCS. In reality, the image is created by a series of interleaved (hence the name) lines of color, red, green, and blue, that "flicker" just enough to fool your eye into seeing a full color picture. While the produced image isn't exactly DVD quality, it certain is heads above any previous 2600 display capability, and most importantly, opens the door to a whole new way of rendering graphics on the VCS. The homebrewing has a new toy to play with! The Interleaved ChronoColour technology made its debut in 2003 with the release of the AtariAge 2003 Holiday Greeting Cart (ADD LINK).

2003 AtariAge GreetingCart ScreenshotWith the advent of the ChronoColour tech, Andrew was then able to further stretch his programming muscles to shatter even more of the Atari's previous limitations by turning your old console into a veritable VCR. Well, that may be going a bit far, but Andrew did develop the ability for the VCS to play short movie clips complete with fully digitized sound. The movie clips must be short, about 10 seconds, but they are fully watchable thanks to the Interleaved ChronoColour display. Andrew released several trial ROMS to demonstrate this new technology in action (one of them being a now infamous bit of porn!) and eventually hopes to release a limited number of cartridges displaying the capabilities of the tech!

As if that weren't enough, Andrew also started an incredibly ambitious project this past year educating the hungry masses of people who think they want to program for the 2600. Granted an open forum by the good people at AtariAge, Andrew began posting a series of interactive "lessons" on how to program for the VCS. As a current student of the program and a homebrew hopeful, I can tell you that Andrew's lessons are exactly what a beginner needs when trying to make sense of 6502, TIA's, scanlines, WSYNC's, and all the other baffling stuff that goes into coding for one of the most challenging pieces of computer hardware ever made. They are clear, easy to read and understand, and they allow you to work at the pace that is right for you. Not totally comprehending how the VCS tells your TV what to display? No problem, just reread the section until you get it. Having trouble getting your kernal to work? No problem, post your question and Andrew (or perhaps one of the other programming students or vets who patrol the forum) will get back to you with a well-informed and helpful reply! For too long there has been the impression that the 2600 is impossible to program for and that anyone trying to break into 6502 programming is wasting their time. Andrew shatters that myth and takes the time to hand-hold even the most oafish would-be programmer (me) through the ups and downs of programming for the VCS, something unheard of until now. If you have ever dreamed of creating your own Atari 2600 game, this is the place you go to find out if you have what it takes.

In addition to all of these wonderful and helpful accomplishments, Andrew also finds time to do even more useful things. He maintains and upgrades the DASM Assembler program that homebrewers use to compile their code (a programming feat in itself!), he began a new homebrew effort this past year called FuKung!, which has been sadly shelved due to escalating interest in other developments (see above), and he runs his own software company, Two-Headed Software!

Furthermore, Andrew can usually be found prowling around the AtariAge Forums, stirring up trouble and helping out wherever he can. This 2003 Atari Achievement Award is for you Andrew Davie, well earned.

The following is a list of Andrew Davie's previous programming achievements:

Atari 2600:
Interleaved ChronoColour Technology
Full Motion Video Playback Technology with Digitized Sound
Programming for Newbies Interactive Tutorial on how to Program for the Atari 2600

Atari 400/800:
Qb – Public Domain release

Asterix and the Magic Cauldron
Jr. Pac-Man
Mugsy's Revenge
Street Hassle
Super Pac-Man

Bad Street Brawler
The Three Stooges
The Hunt for Red October
Way of the Exploding Fist – NR

WCW Superbrawl Wrestling

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