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Modern tech with ECS


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#1 bikeguychicago OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 7, 2013 9:24 PM

Is it possible to use modern technology (I.e. SD Cards) to store programs created with the Computer Module or game data that would have normally been stored to a cassette?

If so, what solution have you used successfully?

Thanks!

#2 DZ-Jay OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 8, 2013 11:40 AM

Are you asking if it is possible to make a program using the ECS BASIC and save it to solid state memory (using the CC3) instead of tape?

I don't think it is.

Or, are you asking if you can load an old BASIC program from tape into a computer?

#3 jaybird3rd OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 8, 2013 12:28 PM

ECS BASIC, and the ECS games that were designed to use the tape interface, would have to be changed in order for them to use another device (like the CC3) instead.

The easiest alternative that I can think of to using tape would be to use a PC instead. With the correct cable, you can plug the EAR and MIC from the ECS directly into Line Out and Line In on the PC's sound card (or integrated sound). With this setup, new program data that you would normally save to tape would be saved instead to WAV sound files; if you use Microsoft Windows, the built-in Sound Recorder is enough to do the job. It wouldn't be any faster than using cassettes, but it does at least get you away from having to use old, unreliable media.

#4 bikeguychicago OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 8, 2013 12:39 PM

Are you asking if it is possible to make a program using the ECS BASIC and save it to solid state memory (using the CC3) instead of tape?

I don't think it is.

Or, are you asking if you can load an old BASIC program from tape into a computer?


Yes. I was wondering if it were possible to save to solid-state media vs. cassette. Maybe even using a digital record vs. and old cassette recorder.

#5 DZ-Jay OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 8, 2013 12:44 PM

Like Jaybird3rd said, you'll need to modify the ECS, overriding its ROM so that the LOAD/SAVE commands read from some memory-mapped location.

Obviously, this is not trivial.

You could use an emulator instead, with a modified version of the ECS Exec ROMs to do this, but again, it would require reverse-engineering the ECS's Exec, and patching it.

dZ.

#6 GroovyBee OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 8, 2013 12:46 PM

Is it possible to use modern technology (I.e. SD Cards) to store programs created with the Computer Module or game data that would have normally been stored to a cassette?


Its certainly possible to record and playback audio *.WAV files and if you really wanted to keep the files small you could come up with some electronics (and a microcontroller) that understands the tones sent to it and saves then as data files on an SD card instead (and a playback mode is possible too). The question is... why would you want to other than as a curiosity exercise?

#7 Games For Your Intellivision OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 8, 2013 1:07 PM

When we dumped the ECS Exec, we opened up the ECS and found the chip had a blob of epoxy on it. It was not a socketed chip, but soldered directly to the motherboard of the ECS. In order to dump it, we plugged in the ECS to the cart dumper like any other cartridge. One of the problems was it was bankswitched, and there was a missing block of the ECS Exec.....I plugged in the keyboard into the ECS and the rest of the ECS Exec magically appeared......it was a stroke of luck that allowed us to get the whole thing. Intellivision Productions didn't have the program in binary format.

Modifying an ECS with a new Exec would be a challenge. It isn't a matter of swapping a chip for an Eprom.

#8 bikeguychicago OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 8, 2013 1:44 PM

I have no plans to dump the ROM or modify it in any fashion (for starters, I would have no idea where to begin). I was just looking for a way to avoid the pain of loading anything from cassette.

I'm still haunted by memories of what happened when you bumped a Timex Sinclair RAM pack the wrong way and to start from scratch...

#9 Games For Your Intellivision OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 8, 2013 2:59 PM

There is a plan to allow for some Intellivision carts to use keyboard input for the games....ie Zork like games....which is kinda neat....

I think the only thing that the ECS really gives you is the extra sound chip.




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