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#26 Willsy OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 28, 2016 6:19 AM

Wow cool! Go Apple II dudes!

#27 MarkO OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 29, 2016 1:31 PM

I have never owned a TI, ( but did borrow a friends for a while ), so I haven't needed a F18, but I guess I do need one Now...  And this little OSH Park Board..

 

MarkO



#28 towmater OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 29, 2016 4:13 PM

I have never owned a TI, ( but did borrow a friends for a while ), so I haven't needed a F18, but I guess I do need one Now...  And this little OSH Park Board..

 

MarkO

Hold off until we see one working. The boards are in the mail back from OSH Park, so maybe next week we'll know more. I do need to order a 40-pin socket, or cross fingers and see if Fry's has one.



#29 MarkO OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 29, 2016 4:38 PM

Hold off until we see one working. The boards are in the mail back from OSH Park, so maybe next week we'll know more. I do need to order a 40-pin socket, or cross fingers and see if Fry's has one.

 

If your desperate, Radio-Shack has the "cheap ones".  At least the ones in my area did...

 

MarkO



#30 Osgeld OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 29, 2016 4:38 PM

i have a metric ton of them if you want me to drop one in the mail, send a pm


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#31 towmater OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 2, 2016 11:20 PM

Thank you Osgeld, but I just discovered that the F18A comes with one!



#32 towmater OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 9, 2016 7:44 AM

Up and running. And working! I'm playing with software, but I'm quickly finding a need for a good cross-dev environment for 6502 assembly, any recommendations? Also, it would be fun to run Terrapin logo to get the ball rolling, but I need a "terrapin logo sprite procedures disk" which is nowhere archived on the Internet. Does anyone have a copy?

 

Using the board as a 9918A is simple enough, but it looks like I'll have to check with Matt H. to see if there are some docs on hidden capabilities in the F18A version. 



#33 MarkO OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 9, 2016 9:55 AM

Up and running. And working! I'm playing with software, but I'm quickly finding a need for a good cross-dev environment for 6502 assembly, any recommendations? Also, it would be fun to run Terrapin logo to get the ball rolling, but I need a "terrapin logo sprite procedures disk" which is nowhere archived on the Internet. Does anyone have a copy?

 

CC65 seems to be the "generic solution" and Actively being Maintained.. There are others.. There seem to be some Platform Specific solutions too.. Like TMPx for the C64.
 

Using the board as a 9918A is simple enough, but it looks like I'll have to check with Matt H. to see if there are some docs on hidden capabilities in the F18A version.


Keep us Informed.....

MarkO

#34 towmater OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 9, 2016 9:49 PM

CC65 might be the way to go, as it seems to be a higher-level C language compiler, but for assy for the time being I'm looking into Wudsn.



#35 robj OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 11, 2016 5:54 AM

Did you try the starsprite disks?
http://mirrors.apple...te-Programs.zip

/Rob

#36 carlsson OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 12, 2016 7:38 AM

For cross development, many of us in the C= world stick with DASM in one version or another, but there are exceptions. The ca65 assembler that is part of the CC65 compiler is powerful, but perhaps complex to use standalone. Good thing is that you're supposedly able to inline assembly code into your C code, in case you don't want to write everything in low level.



#37 The Usotsuki OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 12, 2016 10:05 AM

I use CA65.  It's a pretty good macro assembler.



#38 MarkO OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 12, 2016 11:18 AM

For cross development, many of us in the C= world stick with DASM in one version or another, but there are exceptions. The ca65 assembler that is part of the CC65 compiler is powerful, but perhaps complex to use standalone. Good thing is that you're supposedly able to inline assembly code into your C code, in case you don't want to write everything in low level.


The "appeal factor" of CC65/CA65 is you can Focus on 'C' for the Initial Development and then Optimize with ASM where needed.

I have seen reference to the 80/20 Rule ( Pareto Rule ) applied to Software Programs.. Basically that 80 Percent of your program's time is spent in 20 Percent of the Code..

MarkO



#39 towmater OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 13, 2016 1:52 PM

Did you try the starsprite disks?
http://mirrors.apple...te-Programs.zip

/Rob

 

Kazool!

The software works, but unfortunately expects the sprite board to be in slot #7 (where the CFFA lives in my system) so I just temporarily relocated the F18A for this test.

 

Keep in mind this shot is of the VGA output from the F18A, the way I connected it was the main //gs video was on VGA from a GBS thingy, and the F18A was connected to the DVI input with a DVI-VGA converter, so I just switch inputs on the monitor to see the second screen.

 

20160213 113809


#40 The Usotsuki OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 13, 2016 5:23 PM

Looks like the StarSprite is compatible with the EZCGI, as I got it to output graphics in MESS when used in that mode.



#41 robj OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 14, 2016 3:49 AM

That's great it worked! Thanks for sharing the photo.

 

Here is a link to the manual for the SuperSprite card (Thanks Paul), might be useful for you also. ( I have pushed a copy into the Asimov incoming folder)

 

https://dl.dropboxus...s-manual-cs.pdf

 

/Rob



#42 towmater OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 14, 2016 9:55 AM

That's great it worked! Thanks for sharing the photo.

 

Here is a link to the manual for the SuperSprite card (Thanks Paul), might be useful for you also.

 

 

Thanks for that, it's a great reference. Even better is the cover photo, the kid is holding a board entirely unrelated to the SuperSprite. It must be what he had to remove from slot 7 to use the sprite card.



#43 robj OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 14, 2016 3:48 PM

 

Thanks for that, it's a great reference. Even better is the cover photo, the kid is holding a board entirely unrelated to the SuperSprite. It must be what he had to remove from slot 7 to use the sprite card.

Yep, that is funny/odd. Maybe they did not have the board completely finished at the time of getting the manual done. Although you would have thought it better to promote your own card on the front! 



#44 MarkO OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 14, 2016 7:47 PM

Kazool!
The software works, but unfortunately expects the sprite board to be in slot #7 (where the CFFA lives in my system) so I just temporarily relocated the F18A for this test.

 
You might have to Keep it There... Slot #7 is Special... Typically Pins #19 and #35 are No Connection ( N.C. ), but on Slot #07, Pin #19 is SYNC ( Video Timing Generator's SYNC Signal ) and Pin #35 is COLOR REF ( 3.5MHz COLOR REFerence Signal ) This goes ALL the Way back to the Apple ][...

Keep in mind this shot is of the VGA output from the F18A, the way I connected it was the main //gs video was on VGA from a GBS thingy, and the F18A was connected to the DVI input with a DVI-VGA converter, so I just switch inputs on the monitor to see the second screen.


Looks very nice...

Me Thinks I need to Get One...

MarkO

#45 MarkO OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 14, 2016 7:52 PM

Yep, that is funny/odd. Maybe they did not have the board completely finished at the time of getting the manual done. Although you would have thought it better to promote your own card on the front!


You kind of think they could have, "Mocked Something Up", that was really close looking to a working card..

MarkO

#46 towmater OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 14, 2016 8:02 PM

 
You might have to Keep it There..

No, it worked fine in slot 4 with my own code, it just depends on where the software looks for it. I should add that the creator of the F18A did not emulate the genlock function of the TI 9918A, probably because no other system utilized it. (Would have been awesome if they had on the Coleco, and added the ability to augment 2600 module games with backgrounds etc.) So they F18A doesn't care about your video sync, it won't do overlays on top of A2 composite, my plan is to generate all bitmap displays in the 9918A as a coprocessor, and go from there.

 

Another option to play with will be updating the F18A's ram with the contents of the A2's screen ram. I think this will work nicely with 80 column text, it remains to be seen whether A2 graphics ever got intense enough to rule out updating the F18A fast enough, I may need to build a clock-based interrupt coming from the F18A to do this, and I hope that the extra clock speed in later A2's like the GS will allow for plenty of time to check A2 ram for "difference" and update the F18A only as necessary.


Edited by towmater, Sun Feb 14, 2016 8:03 PM.


#47 OLD CS1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Feb 15, 2016 1:04 PM

It sounds like an awesome idea on the ColecoVIsion, however the CV uses the 9928 or 9929 which lack the EXTVID input on pin 35, instead pin 35 is the B-Y output.



#48 robj OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 17, 2016 1:54 AM

Just noticed this on eBay, it's a ram card that he is holding on the front cover of the Synetix SuperSprite manual :-)

http://www.ebay.com....k4AAOSwFNZWwPJZ

#49 towmater OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 18, 2016 1:14 PM

The rev 2 board has not arrived yet, so I will fill the silence with what we know so far:

 

•The NES was designed around a modified Texas Instruments graphics system. The F18A was built to mimic the capabilities of that system. The sprite capabilities and bit-plane graphics in the F18A are supersets of the Nintendo Famicom.

•The NES used a Ricoh 2A03 cpu. This is important to us because unlike most other systems that utilized a TI9918A graphics chip, the Apple has the same opcodes as the NES because the Ricoh chip has a 6502 core.

•F18A sprite definition has been programmed to directly mimic NES's, so that system's existing graphics data can be used directly on our A2's.

 

This video from Rasmus in the forum next-door to ours shows what the F18A can do with a TI-99/4a system that is not code-compatible with the NES, so much more work, I think, needed to be done to achieve this:

https://www.youtube....h?v=fQIyD2Pcrsw

 

-So converting NES software directly to the Apple 2 is limited only at this point by needing to modify sound and joystick code. (Or we add a TI sound chip, which Nintendo also commandeered for the NES design.

 

•The F18A is a coprocessor running TI-9xx series code. This will become important to us as we adapt existing A2 programs to this new device, because we can do things like offload Apple memory contents to the F18A (using the higher clock speed of the IIGS to our advantage) and use the 100MHz clock speed of the F18A to do things like sort out the hires A2 graphics screens to something new, such as using the F18A's 64 colors out of 4096 hires display modes to augment and enhance the experience. I'm thinking things like playing A2versions of games using Amiga graphics would be possible.

 

•Did I say 100MHZ? The F18A is an FPGA development tool that we can program and modify with Xilinx ISE-Webpack tools (PC) from  http://www.xilinx.co...nload/index.htm and a JTAG cable.

 

More info at http://atariage.com/...-and-resources/

 



#50 The Usotsuki OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 18, 2016 4:56 PM

Well, there's a copout for the TI sound chip ;)

 

The SuperSprite card mentioned has an AY-8912, which is similar to the SN76489, and as well, the Arcade Board has some sort of AY-8910, and the Mockingboard is a reasonably supported card with two AY-8910s.





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