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Geeky things I'm up to

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KotOR funk

A month or so ago I bought KotOR (on sale for C$10). I'd borrowed and finished it over a year ago, but I figured enough time had passed that I would enjoy it again. This time I also decided to try it as a (mostly) solo DS character (female level 5 soldier level 10+ guardian w/ high wisdom). Unfortunately, I'm now at Manaan (having completed Tatooine and Kashyyyk) and my alignment is swinging dangerously back to neutral. I just can't make the choices (particularly party conversations) require

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Super Zapper!

My arm is still tingling. I was connecting up the receiver/amplifier in my Tempest cabinet when my hand brushed the dangling monitor on/off switch. Silly me I had left the monitor plugged in. Well, it turns out that switch is line AC, not a sense DC. Now "120" AC isn't as bad as the 240 they use elsewhere (which can kill), but it'll still make you yell and jump.Current beauty shot of my Tempest MAME cabinet. Just added the speaker marquee this weekend.Still to do:1 - coin door: need a lock,

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Google Video

It will be interesting to see how Video Google plays out. Already it looks like a decent way for video artist and budding filmmakers to distribute demo reals. (Assuming you can load the keywords so someone can find it.) But, already I see some problems:1. What's the point of capturing TV feeds if they aren't available for viewing? Heck, all they are really doing is capturing & indexing the closed captions. (Which is probably in violation of some copyrights.) Plus, they are making it da

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Tivo & Tempest

Although I keep trying to limit the number of projects I'm working on at one time, I keep adding new ones.My latest is TiVo. I realized that my wife has several shows that she enjoys watching which often get taped & watched later due to RL scheduling conflicts. Hmm... we keep using the same tape over & over for time-shifting. Sounds like TiVo would be a good fit and an excellent birthday present. (October)Except for one snag. TiVo doesn't offer listings outside of the US & UK.

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EP+SW update

I discovered a while back the Expensive Planetarium starfield required too much ROM space for its own good. After some debate, I decided to recode it as 236x80 tiles (versus 216x90), which will nicely map from $9000-DFFF, leaving $8xxx and $Exxx for sprites (w/ 4K:16 line holey DMA) and $Fxxx for the actual code. This does mean the aspect ratio is wrong, but I'm willing to live with that. (Well, it was only "correct" at 0 degrees declination.)Anyway, Saturday I went back to the source file I

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DLI sampling Proof of Concept

First, a version of the paddle proof of concept which uses a DLI instead of a pseudo kernal. This increases the amount of CPU time available to the rest of the program at the cost of the number of paddle positions (0-31 for NTSC).Second, a trackball proof of concept. I don't have one myself so I can't test it out. Again, a DLI is used to sample the trackball multiple times per screen.

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7800 & Tempest MAME

I'm nearly done a DLI version of my paddle proof of concept & trackball proof of concept. (Just need to fix an error in my ROM to RAM copy routine, I used the wrong label.) I'll put them up tonight. Hmm... just to complete the set I should do one for the driving controller too.In non-7800 geek news I made a bezel for my Tempest cab and put the glass back in. It looks really, really nice. Unfortunately, the next to-do is a biggie - getting the software set up on the PC so it's functional

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7800 Graphics Modes

Figured out what the problems were. The main one was my ROM->RAM copy routine needed to be reworked since it had to copy more than 128 bytes.Attached is a simple test program which displays all 6 graphics modes onscreen. Press player 1 button to enable kangaroo mode, press player 2 button for colorkill (may be combined). (CC2 7800_8K 78QUICK, should work on both NTSC and PAL)Okay, what are you looking at, eh? The screen is divided into 9 areas (3x3 grid):320A (pallete 0-3) 320C (palette 0

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7800 stuff in progress

SpaceWar! 7800I was looking at my Expensive Planetarium code and realized I had made it 216 tiles per line rather than 256; which means I don't need to have any fancy wrap around code because the last 40 tiles are duplicates of the first 40. Ah, well.I'm also thinking that instead of creating a separate EP.bin and then trying to integrate the code into SW78, I'll try to add it to SW78 in the first place. Harder to start, but easier in the long run.I'm also trying to think if there's anything e

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EP Y positioning

I've worked out the rest of the X positioning code, but I'll post and comment on it later.Y position is a little trickier. First, there are two partial zones at the top and the bottom of the screen. Second, the partial zones will affect the effective Y position of the other sprites.Last night I rediscovered how to do vertical motion on the 7800 again (0,0 is the top left corner) and realized I had to add any Y adjustments to the sprite in order to make the DL index calculation work. This mean

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EP X positioning code

Greetings to the 20 readers who visited yesterday.The Expensive Planetarium drawn using 256 8x8 pixel tile sprites, with each sprite having 8 "stars" in a quincunx pattern either on or off. (Actually, there are two sets of tile sprites, odd & even, to make up for the 160 positioning in 320 mode.) The actual star map is 90 rows of 256 tiles (each tile is 1 byte). This makes the starmap effectively 2048x720 pixels (360x180 degrees).On the 7800 tiles are drawn using 5 byte DL entries. Each

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Expensive Planetarium

The original PDP-1 SpaceWar! had an accurate starfield, termed the Expensive Planetarium. I want to add the same thing to SpaceWar! 7800. So far I've translated the Yale star information into quincunx sampled tile lists. The current annoyance is the X/Y position to DL entry code. It's not hard code, just annoying and tedious, and I don't seem to have the necessary desire & drive.

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