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Member Since 29 Sep 2005
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#3108483 The reason the Amiga failed.

Posted by Rybags on Fri Nov 7, 2014 12:35 AM

It failed for similar reason to the ST - didn't keep up with the competition.  They should have made 16-bit sound a priority and had it going when ECS came around in 1990.  Graphically, AGA should have been more full-featured - at the least a 16 bit colour mode rather than pissing about with the HAM mode and it's inflexibility.

Plus they persisted with the lower specced 68K series chips, realistically by 1992 the 68020 at 14 Mhz should have powered the entry-level machines and 68040 at speeds better than the 25 Mhz of the A4000, although it's worth remembering the 68000 at similar clock speeds had better throughput than probably any x86 up to the 80386SX.


You can apply the same to the ST/TT/Falcon and even the 68K Macs - and the common element again is the CPU.  It was almost as if Motorola lost interest in the 68000 by the time they started the joint PPC venture with Apple and IBM.  I don't think the 68060 ever saw light of day in a major consumer computer as an OEM component, sure it was available later as an addon by 3rd party manufacturers for Amiga and Falcon but by then it was too late and it was very much a niche/special interest type of purchase.

#3107011 US reticence.

Posted by Rybags on Wed Nov 5, 2014 3:07 AM

The BBC micro has a metal case to begin with, I don't know if the FCC would have had any influence on that choice.  The purpose of the machine was to be used in schools so they probably wanted a heavy-duty design.

Also, I don't think it came with RF modulator anyway so the situation there becomes more relaxed.


Probably the biggest problem the UK makers faced was that from 84 onwards the US makers had the price war going and they had absolutely no way to compete.  Their wholesale prices were probably higher than what the US retail prices were.

#3107003 Secrets of Speed

Posted by Rybags on Wed Nov 5, 2014 2:46 AM

You shouldn't need to do operations at the pixel level for shift + downscaling.  It's at the byte level, so either 4 or 8 pixels for most modes.

Unless you really need the extra colour, then a 1 bpp mode will make things a lot easier.  If you want stars and stuff behind then you could use PMG objects, throw a few DLIs in and suddenly you have dozens at little cost.

#3106985 US reticence.

Posted by Rybags on Wed Nov 5, 2014 1:52 AM

BBC was in no way price competitive with probably all the 6502 competition except Apple II.


The Sinclair machines - just face it, they're cheap entry-level machines and I don't think they were all that price competitive once they hit the US market.

A large part of Sinclair's success was patriotism in it's home market.  In Australia, they didn't make much of an impact.  In fact, the most successful UK maker over here was probably Amstrad in the mid/late 80s when most 8-bitters were starting to fade away.

#3106776 Secrets of Speed

Posted by Rybags on Tue Nov 4, 2014 7:20 PM

"Use a bigger hammer".


The 2 biggest hammers are self-modifying code and (sometimes massively) unrolled loops.

For a scrolling/scaling situation the "biggest hammer" is brute force using seperate instructions to directly address every point involved in the operation - ie the routine to move the screen stuff around might take more memory than the screen itself.

Executing from z-page is another big hammer although you're very restricted on how much you can do from there.


Re your situation - even though TBXL is way faster than normal Basic, in many critical game/demo scenarios it'll be practically as useless for the task.

#3105057 Vintage Color Photo sexy stud mustache man plays Atari 2600

Posted by Rybags on Mon Nov 3, 2014 6:53 AM

"In between takes on Debbie Does Dallas, I like to play Atari VCS!"


"It aint a woodie six, but I got something to make up for that!"

#3104268 RGB - a game for the ABBUC Software Contest 2014

Posted by Rybags on Sun Nov 2, 2014 3:09 AM

And... finished.  Level 7 is the last one, just got the Congrats! screen.

#3104244 RGB - a game for the ABBUC Software Contest 2014

Posted by Rybags on Sun Nov 2, 2014 1:26 AM

Just came to within a missed jump of finishing Level 7 - crap!


It's much a case of deciding if to risk collisions and skipping ahead to take care of enemies with the current colour, or using energy anyway to change colour.

Of course I inadvertantly always seem to fall a couple of times in these later levels which screws you over regardless.

#3103770 Pac-Man/Alien question

Posted by Rybags on Sat Nov 1, 2014 10:20 AM

Most use the playfield to do both the dots and maze, so the resolution is only 40 pixels horizontal.


That alien game fairly obviously uses other objects (maybe ball + missiles) for the dots, by offsetting them vertically means it can be done without flicker.

Alternatively such a game could use replicated players + missiles & ball to represent a decent number of dots in a line at finer resolution but that would mean player/alien objects would need players too which would inevitably lead to flickering.

#3103629 BASIC Ten-Liners - Contest 2014

Posted by Rybags on Sat Nov 1, 2014 3:10 AM

I'd suggest just stick with default Basic and TBXL, both easily available to any machine so long as Ram requirement met (for TBXL).


I don't think BXL or BXE would offer any advantage over TBXL anyway in a 10 line situation, and the target audience on real hw is so much smaller.

#3103506 How do I change my STe from PAL to NTSC ?

Posted by Rybags on Fri Oct 31, 2014 8:22 PM

Looks like Potsie from Happy Days.

#3102294 Disk images in Atirra

Posted by Rybags on Thu Oct 30, 2014 6:47 AM

I'd just use ATR to begin with especially if you're creating new images.  The XFD format is outdated, ATR is much better to use as it has proper descriptors and support for various sector length and image sizes.  Plus, all of the SIO2xx type emulators support it as well so it's much more portable.

#3101724 TURBO CARD for XE ATARI

Posted by Rybags on Wed Oct 29, 2014 10:44 AM

Possible interest here... but I've got 800XL, Ultimate 1 Meg, VBXE and IDE+2 so it's a crowded system.


Re colour stuff - the strength there could be just plugging new values into registers more quickly.

Think GTIA paletted mode with much lesser limitations on colour changes, 160x multicolour with all registers changable multiple times per line.  If the block move works well then all the better.

Rastaconverter could go on steroids, faster CPU means stuff like PM reuse becomes feasible.

#3100773 How do I change my STe from PAL to NTSC ?

Posted by Rybags on Mon Oct 27, 2014 11:48 PM

PMSL, Karma at work here - scroll down eBay feedback to reply from July 2, 2006:


Claim filed! He knowingly did not state that Amiga was PAL not NTSC. Avoid!

  • Reply by retrogeek001 (Jul-02-06 18:10):
    NOT TRUE. He did not ask questions before bidding. Not my fault he assumed.

#3100751 High Density disk drive in Atari 1040STe ?

Posted by Rybags on Mon Oct 27, 2014 10:35 PM

If he's such the expert he claims then why ask these simple questions to begin with?


And if he's so successful in business, why does he only own the one shirt?