[vcf-midatlantic] Known-good IBM joystick?

Evan Koblentz evan at vcfed.org
Tue Jul 10 11:53:31 EDT 2018

I'm using a Compaq Portable III (286). I forgot the card brand but I
vaguely recall it might also be Kraft. I'm programming in the BASICA from
the correct Compaq-branded boot disk. I use the STICK command; not

I can test the same joystick against the Apple side tomorrow.

In a test program, I was only getting a range of about 5 to 195, vs. 0-255.

To "port" the code from Apple to IBM platform, I replaced the Applesoft
PDL(0) and PDL(1) commands with STICK.

The way my code works is, when I move the stick beyond a neutral range
(say, within 75 of either end), then it turns on the robot motors on the
correct directions.

The logic is fine: works with the Apple joystick on the Laser 128, and as I
said I'll test that again with the Kraft tomorrow on the Laser.

But when I tried it on the Compaq, only two of the directions work
correctly. It was something like left and forward; I forget exactly. One
other direction turns on the wrong bits (1 and 4, same as its opposite
direction, rather than 2 and 3 which it should be), even though I'm a
million percent certain the code is right. Another direction works (bits 2
and 4) if I move the stick to its extreme edge, but while en route it turns
on bit 3 for a second. That makes no sense! That's why I think the stick
might be funky or somehow misadjusted even if it does work on the Apple

On Tue, Jul 10, 2018, 9:36 AM Bill Degnan via vcf-midatlantic <
vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org> wrote:

> Bob/All,
> In IBM systems one typically needs the drivers, controller card, and
> joystick to all be designed to work together.  Also, the software often
> expects one of a few model joystick to be available.  So, in Evan's case he
> needs to look at the software and documentation of the program that will
> use the joystick to see what kind of joystick it's looking for.  It may be
> that the original IBM PC "Game Control Adapter" is an option, in which case
> you'd need something compatible with that.  May be easy and you can get
> away with a serial port joystick.  And so on.  From there, find something
> compatible, install the drivers into autoexec.bat and config.sys and go
> from there.  Newer machines often pair a soundcard like SoundBlaster with a
> Microsoft joystick.
> Evan may have working joysticks that "don't work" because the drivers are
> not yet loaded.
> Bill
> On Tue, Jul 10, 2018 at 8:38 AM Bob Aviles via vcf-midatlantic <
> vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org> wrote:
> >  Hi,
> >   I have an IBM joystick, look at the picture and tell me if it works on
> > your systems.
> >
> > Bobby    On Tuesday, July 10, 2018, 1:20:45 AM EDT, Evan Koblentz via
> > vcf-midatlantic <vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org> wrote:
> >
> >  I'm having issues with the VCF supply of Kraft joysticks, and there is
> > no time to fix them before HOPE. Does anyone have a tested and
> > fully-working / known-good IBM (or other non-Kraft) joystick which I
> > could borrow? I need it by Friday in order to test it at the museum this
> > weekend. Dean said he may have one, but in case he doesn't....
> >
> > My backup plan is to program for keyboard control instead of joystick
> > control, but that's not nearly as much fun.
> >
> >

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