SvOlli's Atari 2600 VCS hacking


These are the slides used for talks about the Atari 2600 VCS and other demo related stuff, which can be seen on YouTube.

The Atari 2600 VCS: The Ultimate Talk
Video:, Slides: (Size: 6669401; Date: 2012-01-07, 20:41 CET)
A Demo Coders Guide To The 2600
Video: YouTube, Slides: (Size: 618504; Date: 2013-04-30, 14:18 CEST)
Yeah, it looks nice... but why are you doing this? - Why demo coding? Three answers in five minutes.
Video:, Slides: (Size: 923361; Date: 2013-12-29, 18:39 CET)
Yeah, it looks nice... but how are you doing this? - Explaining a simple demo effect in five minutes.
Video:, Slides: (Size: 13934815; Date: 2014-12-27, 17:11 CET)
Atari & Commodore Fuck-Ups - A five minute collection of fails.
Video: YouTube, Slides: Atari& (Size: 2841907; Date: 2017-12-27, 09:55 CET)


The intro for "The Ultimate Atari 2600 VCS Talk"
Source+Binary: 28c3intro.tar.bz2 (Size: 9529; Date: 2013-05-06, 21:22 CEST)
The intro for "A Demo Coder's Guide To The 2600"
Source+Binary: rev3intro.tar.bz2 (Size: 9849; Date: 2013-05-06, 21:22 CEST)
A test program for the unstable ane ($8b) instruction
Source+Binary: test-ane.tar.bz2 (Size: 5382; Date: 2013-05-06, 21:29 CEST)
Scene Demos 6-in-1
The first ever successful release of a demo pack. (
Binary: (Size: 100390; Date: 2013-04-30, 14:43 CEST)
Cover artwork: (Size: 278611; Date: 2013-06-23, 11:57 CEST)

Write Your Own Demo In 3 Hours

These are archives that contain everything used in my workshop on getting people to write their own simple demo. Both tar.gz and zip archives are available, you only need one. Each of these contains the tools needed for assembling and running the code for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X. Just add your favorite editor and off you go. 2600workshop.tar.gz (Size: 21806023; Date: 2013-12-29, 19:28 CET), (Size: 21882180; Date: 2013-12-29, 19:30 CET)

How To Use CA65 To Develop For Atari 2600 VCS

I code my stuff in a Linux environment. Some other people use Windows, so I decided to write up some small notes on how my code can be assembled and run on Windows.

  1. Install MinGW/msys as described here: You can uncheck the C compiler, but must check the "MSYS Basic System" (second from the bottom). I will assume that you installed the software to C:\MinGW, as suggested. If you chose otherwise, you have to replace the pathnames provided here accordingly.
  2. Create the directory "C:\MinGW\local".
  3. Download "" from
  4. Unpack the content of this archive to the directory created in step 2.
  5. Download from
  6. Copy Stella.exe and SDL.dll from the 32-bit folder of that zip to the "C:\MinGW\local\bin" folder.
  7. Edit C:\MinGW\msys\1.0\etc\fstab and add the following line:
    C:\MinGW\local /usr/local
Now you should be able to build the software using "make".


Added slides for third talk and workshop info and archives.
Initial version of Page.

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