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  1. Looking to the future, I'm interested in writing Boulder Dash™ 2 ... n Ten years after the original Boulder Dash™, we now have new technologies and understanding of the machine, and I thought rather than continue to use the original engine, I'd have a go at developing a new one for future versions of Boulder Dash™. The IP owners BBG Entertainment have kindly allowed me to demonstrate videos of the engine as it's being developed. Just to be clear; this is not a rewrite of the original version, and we will not be revisiting those original caves with this engine. This new engine is targeted for possible future versions of the game. And we all know how I lose interest in stuff at about 85% complete. So, don't hold your breath. Very experimental at this stage. For those who are inevitably going to ask about the promised re-release of Boulder Dash™ #1; that is still in the pipeline. We're just moving extremely slowly on this and still lining up all the... things that need to be lined up. That project is not dead, in other words. But that project is not this project. To be super-dooper clear; this new engine is totally unrelated to the original, and in any case it's not going to be ready for yonks. If ever. So, keeping in mind that this is new technology, and experimental only... here is where I'll be posting update videos to demonstrate little bits of stuff as I develop. I'm going to try and tackle some of the shortcomings of the original that have bothered me over the years. So, first-up is the diamonds. It's practically impossible to get a diamond shape in just 4 pixels and we've tried many different things to improve them. Jiggling them up and down was the final solution chosen in BD1. But now I've found a new way that I think looks pretty ace. One of the issues with flashing or pulsing diamonds is that they all flash/pulse at the same time (as per the original). This can lead to an epilepsy-inducing screen when it's full of diamonds. The trick is to find a way to make diamonds look "sparkly" without costing extra memory, and yet not have the whole screen overwhelm you with that sparkling effect. And, do it in 4-pixels-wide! bd2_diamond3.mp4 The colours in BD1 were constrained and designed to match the C64 version closely. I'm not feeling bound to that colour choice at the moment, so I'm just choosing random colour triplets at the end of the video just to give me some idea of the range/combinations that are possible. I don't have any sprites working in this engine yet, so Rockford is represented by the big R . I scroll around a bit - you can see that the scroll resolution is single-pixel, so it's super-smooth-ish. You can see that the logic for diamonds/boulders falling is mostly functional already.
  2. The classic game of searching for mines. Press left button to reveal the square, use right button to flag as a mine. Minesweeper-COL-1.00.zip
  3. 8 points
    Watched "The NeverEnding Story" for the first time in 25 years with the family recently. That movie hit me right in the feels.
  4. Here area few more of the in-progress features/capabilities. I've created a "kitchen sink" level which I will be using to test/demo stuff. bd2_reveal.mp4 1) The screen reveal... the screen is uncovered as the scroll positions to the player. This was absent from BD1 - I recall that it was too hard, Thomas recalls that we ran out of space. In any case, I found an "elegant" solution to this that only required one bit per cell, and was easy to implement. 2) Butterfly (fireflies are "done" too). They wall-hug correctly but there aren't any explosions/killing yet. 3) Boulders animate when rolling/falling. I need to work on the graphics, but they do "spin" if you look closely. 4) There's a magic wall in there. Just visuals at the moment 5) Animation of objects is no longer on/off/on/off two-frame stuff. An animation can be a sequence of frames. The butterfly does this subtly with a 3-frame animation. I need to work on the colours though. 6) There's an amoeba there; ugly graphics. I'm going to make each cell asynchronous in a similar way to the diamond sparkle. Will be interesting to see how that looks.
  5. 7 points
    Used my new “contactless” debit card today, for the first time. Tapped the card, then had to press “debit,” then had to press “ok,” then had to press “yes,” then had to type in the pin, then had to press “ok” again. So in total, I had to touch the card reader 9 times to use my “contactless” card.
  6. Impressive - silky smooth framerate and looks like it's easy to control. That would have never passed testing for a Jag release.
  7. So you are saying we will have way nice looking medical equipment in 15 years?
  9. If you did not pay money or full price for it, they could be fun
  10. Well here's something fun. A "TIPI" sighting in the wild, almost four decades before its time:
  11. Hi, It's been a while since I've written any basic games. This one is a short and simple game inspired by the 1983 Atari Star Wars arcade game. In this game you battle H fighters which are tie fighter-like ships. There is no trench run but I think it's possible to approximate. I might look into if as a separate game. I'm trying to keep my games simple these days. To score against the h fighters your laser needs to strike them in the centre. In a similar manner for the h fighter to score against you and destroy one of your 5 ships it needs to strike you when it is positioned midway horizontally. The h fighter turns magenta just before it fires its laser. In that way you will hopefully have enough time to manoeuvre out of the way. The keys are ESDX for manoeuvring and spacebar to fire. The code is in the spoiler and a file for use with Classic99 is attached. HFIGHTER.zip
  12. Yikes, I've never had to save the universe before! 😬 How will I handle the pressure?......... ........."I'm not touching you...I'm not touching you...I'm not touching you..." 😜
  13. 5 points
    Today's moment of joy was when someone who never is wrong, indicated that I had made a mistake, only to check again and found out it was them, the other person who most regretfully was wrong.
  14. Haha. I have to say I've never been in a Ferrari, but I *did* drive a Lamborghini while I was in Italy and I was only 12 years old. This is a true story. For those of you who may not know, Lamborghini started out as a tractor company, anyway my aunt and uncle in Italy had a Lamborghini tractor and they let me drive it (with them on board beside me of course) while I was vacationing in Italy as a kid. To this day I still tell people I drove a Lamborghini in Italy lol
  15. Here is a quick update to Sokoban 2021 that allows you to push in one direction without re-centering the joystick or your hurting your thumb! Sokoban 2021.xex
  16. Not directly Amico related but in remembrance of the Atari/Intellivision wars of the '80s I found this interesting: Atari is splitting into two divisions with Wade Rosen (who was Chairman of the Board after a big stock purchase in March of 2020) heading up the Games, Licensing and VCS division, while former CEO Frédéric Chesnais is heading up Blockchain technology and it's licensing. https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2021/04/06/2204621/0/en/Atari-announces-the-creation-of-two-divisions-Atari-Gaming-and-Atari-Blockchain-and-a-change-in-Leadership.html It is my pet theory that Atari finally got it's finger out on the VCS shortly after Wade Rosen joined in the spring of last year, so maybe part of the issue was that the VCS wasn't Chenais's primary interest so it was running a bit on autopilot. Don't know, just seems like things finally started moving in production and and communication changing from irritating pap ("What was your favorite classic Atari game in a green box?") sort of interactions out of their official VCS social media. All just a guess but it is interesting that the company has divided itself into two clear focuses today.
  17. Well, I think the idea with the amoeba kind of worked. Here is the first attempt... bd2_amoeba.mp4
  18. Hello Intellivision friends, I've had to take a hiatus from the High Score Club for a few games, but I'm back today to check in. Very excited to see Q-bert is the current game. I'll do my best and post my score by the deadline. Thanks to everyone running the contest and competing!
  19. Here I introduce to you the most hacked up sound design I was able to produce to date. I'll let you all judge, as far as I could tell, in most of this one, tuning is 95% well everywhere with nearly no major problems The lead was a literal pain in the ass, and apart from fixing up a bit to be more accurate to the original melody, it does work quite well now, even if from my point of view, it is incredibly cursed lol I also added a new Distortion 2 table, that was used in the tune for the parts that needed... to be worked around with a acceptable tuning, lol I can now finish that cover later, it's pretty much close to be finished, only some changes are needed in the lead melody now Once I'm fully done I'll post all my project files, so in the meantime, here's an executable and the new table version. Hopefully all of this will work as expected on hardware too. CustomNoteTables Vin V21.txt POKEY Table 1.79mhz (Octave Pattern, Distortion 2) v2.txt Laxity - Freeze (Cover) v20.xex
  20. Quite a week for gaming around here this past week, with a whole slew of great games played across a small variety of systems. I spent most of the week just enjoying arcade games on my MVSX, now that I've finished doing all the software modding I wanted to do to it and have the full Neo Geo MVS/AES library installed on it along with my own custom menu of 72 of my personal favorite non-Neo Geo arcade games. As well as returning to my old favorites Aliens and Ms. Pac-Man, I checked out a bunch of new games I had never played before this week and my favorite was definitely The Last Blade and The Last Blade 2. The sequel had better graphics, possibly the most beautiful I've seen on the Neo Geo, but I liked the gameplay of the original a little better. In the original the timing needed to deflect attacks and perform combos was a lot more forgiving, and as a big fan of violent video games from the 16-bit era I really appreciated the blood in the original too; which was sadly removed from the sequel. In other gaming news the misses spent a good bit of time playing Castlevania: Symphony of the Night for the first time in a few years this past week, and I finally (for the first time ever) finished Tomb Raider II with 100% of the secrets found and collected! That was definitely the gaming highlight of the week for me this week Arcade Aliens - 83 minutes Alien vs. Predator - 55 minutes Frogger - 6 minutes Ms. Pac-Man - 25 minutes Ms. Pac-Man (Speed-Up Hack) - 8 minutes Pac-Man - 15 minutes RoboCop - 31 minutes Street Fighter II': Champion Edition - 24 minutes Super Street Fighter II - 5 minutes Neo Geo MVS/AES Garou: Mark of the Wolves - 7 minutes King of Fighters '98 - 10 minutes Metal Slug - 56 minutes Metal Slug 3 - 41 minutes Neo Turf Masters - 15 minutes Samurai Shodown II - 18 minutes The Last Blade - 59 minutes The Last Blade 2 - 132 minutes Sega Genesis Mortal Kombat - 31 minutes PlayStation Castlevania: Symphony of the Night - 469 minutes Tomb Raider II - 330 minutes Total Video Game Play Time This Week 1,420 minutes (23 hours 40 minutes) [1,420 minutes eligible] Individual System Play Times This Week PlayStation: 799 minutes Neo Geo MVS/AES: 338 minutes Arcade: 252 minutes Sega Genesis: 31 minutes
  21. After completing sector 9, the sector counter whole number rolls to a blank, with the next wave displaying as " .1" rather than "0.1". The weird thing is when you complete Sector " .6", you loop back to Sector " .1", and the game at this point will loop this way infinitely and if I recall correctly, the skill level no longer increases. I did it once about 30 years ago (~1.4M-ish), and I know of others who did the same and better, but as they say: no vid, no did. 🤣 Regardless, that's what happens.
  22. Current. Recently ST demoted to slide out shelf, and 130XE back in box so my favorite (800XL can be top center). From top down: 800XL with U1MB. Side2, FujiNet on SIO sitting on 1050 (Happy) below deck (until someone makes a FujiNet drop in for 1030 modem case). 4160STE with UltraSatan. Edladdin controller and 1050 (FujiNet on top). 7800 with s-video mod, Harmony cart. Flashback 5, and ColecoVision Mini Running on power strips with independently controlled outlets.
  23. This is the one that was uploaded last July. Do note that it is the source for the sidecar disk controller, not the PEB variant. DiskDSR.zip It is the original, commented TI source code though. . .
  24. Okay, who got number 666? 1) Did you get six copies? 2) Are they all cursed? We want to know!
  25. I don't know why this thread even started, we all know that the king of hill is the Oric-1.
  26. If you can play a fast 3D game/motorcycle sim (with a functionable AI btw) like this on an 8MHZ Atari ST in 1993, that puts some serious perspective on Jaguar offerings like CD or CF: But it's the same with Crescent Galaxy: If that one was the first ever attempt for a sidescrolling shmup in 1983, it would have been somewhat sensational.
  27. I will be able to burn copies of the Geneve Boot Vn 0.99 for anyone who wants one. The total price per chip is $8 which includes a 27128 EPROM and USPS First Class (with tracking) shipping.
  28. Some photos sent by our customers! Our scarves in retro-rooms ❤️
  29. For now, I leave the 1090 slots of the board, but that's certainly something that could be added later at the left or right side. Depending on the amount of slots I need, the current board might be extended to 30.5 × 24.4 cm, which is ATX. But to keep the cost manageable, I'll stick to 20x20 for now. You can also daisy chain multiple boards by soldering pinheaders at the sides and use a flatcable. Cards I will be making first are: 1. GTIA + basic composite video out 2. ANTIC 3. CPU The test clocks and scope out the address and databus. After that, 4. MMU 5. PIA Test this, with SysCheck for RAM and ROM 6. POKEY, stereo, plus audio mixer 7. ROM 8. RAM Test, and finished Then a SIO card with an SDrive, a SIO card with MIDI, and a SIO to normal SIO connecter converter. Long way to go.
  30. Very interested to hear how the money was spit up. Smells really fishy to me.
  32. What the hell? Did someone hack my account? I didn't write this nonsense...like this could even be true. You should touch the games together for fun now
  33. MACHFORTH: A 9900 Machine Forth Almost Ready for prime-time: I started this project a while back but in light of work needed on my core kernel I had put it on the sidelines. For anyone who might be interested, Chuck Moore, the author of Forth, created this type of compiler when he began designing his own CPUs. Machine Forth uses a regular Forth interpreter to translate little code macros that become the keywords of the Forth language Machine Forth compiles the code into a separate memory chunk as an executable program. There are no headers or text labels in the code. It is a genuine binary program. Features In my implementation you can save your finished program as an E/A5 program. Another interesting feature is that you can RUN the machine code program then return to Forth where you can dump memory or interrogate or alter variables and run it again. You can also freely use ASM instructions (RPN) inside a program if you know Forth's register usage. * If this is of any interested to someone else I will write up some instructions and put together a package. I have no delusions about Forth's popularity. I have added the unique instruction features of the 9900 to the language in an equivalent Forth syntax. Of course you are free to add anything you want. It's Forth! I have also taken the approach of some ideas from the Forth Programmer's Handbook (Conklin&Rather) and MACHFORTH more like a Forth Cross-compiler with separate name-spaces for different commands. The system is still green but it does work. I have to review the library code I have for VDP I/O and I need to write some file I/O. Chuck is wild minimalist so below is something like what his entire compiler would look like for the 9900, written with RPN assembler. Chucks versions for his CPUs were all machine code so he didn't even need to load an assembler. Of course he memorized all the machine instructions thus the name. MACHFORTH is significantly bigger than this version below. \ compile an offset byte into the 2nd byte of a JUMP instruction : OFFSET, ( byte --) 2- 2/ SWAP 1+ C! ; : <BACK ( addr addr' -- ) TUCK - OFFSET, ; \ I have expanded IF to make use of the 9900 comparisons \ **USE Assembler's THERE which is not relocated : -IF ( -- $$ ) THERE 0 JLE, ; \ goto THEN if TOS>0 : IF THERE 0 JEQ, ; \ goto THEN if TOS=0 : THEN ( addr --) THERE OVER - OFFSET, ; : ELSE ( -- $$ ) THERE 0 JMP, SWAP THEN ; COMPILER : BEGIN THERE ; \ REMEMBER: THERE is the relocated address : WHILE IF SWAP ; \ loop while TOS <> 0 : -WHILE -IF SWAP ; \ loop while TOS = 0 : AGAIN ( addr --) THERE 0 JMP, <BACK ; : UNTIL ( addr --) THERE 0 JEQ, <BACK ; \ jump back until TRUE : -UNTIL ( addr --) THERE 0 JNE, <BACK ; \ jump back until FALSE : REPEAT ( addr -- ) AGAIN THEN ; \ ______________________________________________________________ HOST CR .( Forth Intrinics) \ These inline code generators are in the COMPILER name space COMPILER HEX \ Moore's Machine Forth + a few extras : -; ( addr --) @@ B, ; \ Jump to word ie: tail call optimization : DUP ( n -- n n) TOS PUSH, ; : DROP ( n -- ) *SP+ TOS MOV, ; : # ( n -- ) LIT, ; \ 8 bytes w/optimizer off : #FOR ( n --) R15 RPUSH, R15 SWAP LI, BEGIN ; \ 8 bytes : FOR R15 RPUSH, TOS R15 MOV, TOS POP, BEGIN ; \ 6 bytes : NEXT ( -- ) R15 DEC, THERE 0 JOC, <BACK R15 RPOP, ; \ 6 bytes : I ( -- n) TOS PUSH, R15 TOS MOV, ; : #@ ( addr -- n) TOS PUSH, @@ TOS MOV, ; : @ ( TOSaddr -- n) *TOS TOS MOV, ; : #[email protected] ( addr -- c) TOS PUSH, @@ TOS MOVB, TOS 8 SRL, ; : [email protected] ( TOSaddr -- c) *TOS TOS MOVB, TOS 8 SRL, ; : #! ( n variable -- ) TOS SWAP @@ MOV, DROP ; \ 6 bytes : ! ( n TOSaddr --) *SP+ TOS MOV, DROP ; \ Additions for 9900. Needs to go here before SWAP is re-defined : #C! ( addr --) TOS SWPB, TOS SWAP @@ MOVB, DROP ; : C! ( c TOSaddr --) 1 (SP) *TOS MOVB, SP INCT, DROP ; [CC] .( .) : 2* ( n -- n ) TOS 1 SLA, ; : 2/ ( n -- n) TOS 1 SRA, ; : INVERT ( n -- ) TOS INV, ; ( ANS Forth name ) : AND, ( n mask -- n) *SP INV, *SP+ TOS SZC, ; \ and stack values : #AND ( n n -- n ) TOS SWAP ANDI, ; \ and TOS with literal number : XOR ( n n -- n) *SP+ TOS XOR, ; \ (option 1) : + ( n n -- n) *SP+ TOS ADD, ; \ (option 1) add on stack : #+ ( n n -- ) TOS SWAP AI, ; \ (option 2) TOS + literal number \ return stack operators : >R ( n -- ) TOS RPUSH, TOS POP, ; \ PUSH in original Machine Forth : R> ( -- n) TOS PUSH, TOS RPOP, ; \ POP in original Machine Forth : [email protected] ( -- n ) TOS PUSH, *RP TOS MOV, ; : RDROP ( -- ) RP INCT, ; : DUP>R ( n -- n) TOS RPUSH, ; \ : !R ( n -- ) TOS *RP+ MOV, ; \ undocumented ?? .( .) \ Address register (R9) Use >R R> syntax for clarity : #>A ( addr --) AREG SWAP LI, ; \ load A with literal address : >A ( addr -- addr) TOS AREG MOV, DROP ; \ Load A from TOS : A> ( -- addr) TOS PUSH, AREG TOS MOV, ; : [email protected] ( -- n) TOS PUSH, *AREG TOS MOV, ; : [email protected]+ ( -- n) TOS PUSH, *AREG+ TOS MOV, ; : [email protected] ( -- c) TOS PUSH, *AREG TOS MOVB, TOS 8 SLA, ; : [email protected]+ ( -- c) TOS PUSH, *AREG+ TOS MOVB, TOS 8 SLA, ; : A! ( addr -- ) TOS *AREG MOV, DROP ; : A!+ ( n -- ) TOS *AREG+ MOV, ; \ store to *A auto-increment : OVER ( n1 n2 -- n1 n2 n1) TOS PUSH, 2 (SP) TOS MOV, ; : NIP ( n1 n2 -- n2) SP INCT, ; Below is what a simple demo program looks like in source code with the resulting code below. COMPILER \ names space that has compiler directives NEW. HEX 2000 ORIGIN. TARGET \ Makes code compile to TARGET memory PROG: DEMO1 0 # \ 0 -> DATA stack BEGIN 1+ \ inc # on top of data stack ?TERMINAL \ test for Break key UNTIL \ MACHINE FORTH uses native status register DROP \ remove number from data stack NEXT, \ Return to Forth console END. ; MACHFORTH DEMO1 Code with comments 2004 0646 dect R6 ; make room on the data stack 2006 C584 mov R4,*R6 ; push accumulator onto data stack 2008 0204 li R4,>0000 ; load accumulator with zero 0000 200C 0584 inc R4 ; inc. accumulator 200E 06A0 bl @>0020 ; call break key sub-routine 0020 2012 02C1 stst R1 ; get status register 2014 0241 andi R1,>2000 ; mask the EQ bit 2000 2018 13F9 jeq >200c ; jump to top of loop 201A C136 mov *R6+,R4 ; drop number off data stack 201C 045A b *R10 ; run Forth interpreter
  34. If you have a spare eprom and a burner, you can beta test the eprom file that is contained in the zip file in the first post. Please realize this is a beta test, and if you don't have a burner, if Bob Carmany or someone else can burn you an eprom of the beta, realize it is a beta until I get more feedback. It works in MAME for booting from an IDE, and it works booting MDOS from my TIPI. There is a EPROM-BETA (DIS/VAR 80) readme in the zip file for more details. What I am saying here, is it is a beta test eprom bios, and if it doesn't work, then let me know. But don't complain if you spent a few dollars to get a beta burned to an eprom and it doesn't work on your system. All I ask is for feedback. Beery
  35. Here are my retro times for the week. Atari 2600 Centipede -10 Minutes This is a really fun shooter that is also difficult to reach the later levels in the game. Its interesting after all these years of mainly playing NES and onward, how much I have enjoyed playing the Atari 2600. NES Adventures of Lolo 3 Eggerland Mystery Hack -30 Minutes This is a really different type of puzzle game in a series that I have enjoyed playing for the past couple of years. Some of these hacks are really difficult, almost to the point of impossibility without mid-in-game save states on certain levels. I really enjoy this series and highly recommend it. Tetris -20 Minutes I have always enjoyed this game ever since the first time I played it on the gameboy, which seems like forever ago. This is a very difficult game to master in my opinion, but it doesn't stop me from trying to get as far as I possibly can. Sega Genesis Altered Beast -70 Minutes I finally beat this game after all of these years. It's been one of those games that I put off in trying to complete, but I am glad I finally did. I remember getting it as a pack in title for the Sega Genesis back in the late 80s. Its funny looking back at some of these old games and remembering that the giant characters/sprites in a game was a really big deal back then. Super Nintendo Contra 3 Alien Wars -15 Minutes This is a very fun but difficult version of Contra. I have always enjoyed the series, but this one might be too anxiety-inducing/difficult one for me to beat without save states. PS1 Tomb Raider 2 -110 Minutes I can understand why so many minutes have been tracked in this game thus far, as for I am really enjoying playing this game. I actually stopped playing it this week to revisit the first in the series. I usually like to play the first game in the series before the second, but either way both have been really enjoyable.
  36. THE MOST IMPORTANT INTELLIVISION AMICO VIDEO SO FAR!! For over 3 years I've been telling people around the world how Amico is going to bring families and friends together like no other video game platform. I've talked about how simple and easy the games are to pick up and play (no matter what your age, gender or gaming skill level) and how intuitive, unique and incredible our controller design is. And although we've done years of focus group testing, now that the worst of COVID seems to be in the rear view mirror, we wanted to finally get out and show Amico in a public place for the first time and have people play it and get their thoughts. So a week and a half ago we took Amico and 11 of our launch games and traveled to Texas to the National Videogame Museum to share with the general public. Here is our video overview of that most incredible and exciting day! We have 10 days left for our SEC approved investment opportunity on Republic (the same portal that Elon Musk used for SpaceX!). As of this post, we've already raised over $9.7M (we raised millions more through other means as well). If you'd like to learn more you can check it out here: https://republic.co/intellivision-amico There is a great Discussion/Q&A area as well as an FAQ that answers most questions. If you have any questions related to the offering, it's better to ask/leave your questions there. Thank you all for your support and interest in Intellivision over the past few years. I'm pouring my heart and soul into this and giving it everything I possible can to make it a huge success. I can't wait for everyone to play it for themselves!!
  37. I did reach out to Audacity regarding this whole thing, indicating that I would like to keep it if possible and will gladly pay for it if they want to invoice me, or that I can return it if they need it back. Just waiting to hear back to see what they want to do. 🙂
  38. Boot tracking has always been based on artifacts and thus is rather fragile. It relies on knowledge of the DSR and/or the DSRLNK function, so when either changes, problems can arise. For the most part, DSRs are forced to implement some of those artifacts to support it. TIPI has an automatic mapping function - it can be set to automap DSK1 to the last disk that loaded a PROGRAM image. Back in the day requiring DSK1 was pretty standard, so you could do that -- try the path suggested by your tracking, and if it fails, fall back on DSK1 and trust the user to have set it up. https://github.com/jedimatt42/tipi/wiki/Auto-mapping
  39. By the way, I have some great news! @intvdave has been gracious enough to follow up on some of my feedback and he's worked on updating the balance of the easier levels and fix some of the bugs I encountered. Also, he kindly sent me a copy of the latest user's manual, and it seems that the majority of my problems with not knowing how the mechanics work, are addressed in there. The new manual describes in detail how the resources are consumed, and how the environmental events like rain and bear attacks affect your trek. There's even a "Tips & Tricks" section that offers very helpful advice to starting players. All of this helps in planning a successful strategy for each mountain. I'm sure all that would have made a difference in my experience, since it would have probably made it easier to understand how to play successfully on the first mountains. Unfortunately, the manual wasn't available at the time, but I ended up figuring out most of it by trial and error and perseverance. It just took me longer. I still stand by my comments on graphical changes, design philosophy, and difficulty progression; but I admit that these are my own personal views and preferences, and I make no claims to authority on any of it. Clearly @intvdave has his own philosophies and I absolutely respect his views. Still, KotM: K2 is a great game and it is getting even better! I look forward to playing the updated game (with the updated manual at hand). I'll post an new review when I get a chance to play it. A great many thanks to @intvdave for all his effort. -dZ.
  40. This somewhat triggered a latent desire inside me for a bus ride with Sandra Bullock.
  41. Thanks. It is a weird dialect. I have not tested everything so this could be a problem area. Chuck didn't use, or even create in his CPU, all the different condition flags. There is IF and -IF. (not IF) These were the closest instructions I could see to match the ARM version done by Sam Falvo. I think I wrote something to see if they worked but I can't remember just now. I will get back to you with the results of a demo program using IF and -IF. Also to allow the programmer to fully control things. IF and -IF do not consume the stack parameter. You DROP it yourself or not depending on your need. This eliminates the over head of DUP IF or ?DUP IF. Part of the challenge is that it is pretty big now and it takes about a minute to compile. It is a perfect application to save as a Binary program however I didn't understand how to tame my newly hatched vocabulary system and make it wake up intact after loading an E/A5 program with wordlists and search order. So much new stuff, that I built, that needs learning by ME. Anyway I got it figured out yesterday so it became possible to talk about releasing it.
  42. True, but there is something close. The C compiler used for Mini-Cortex Unix (which is both a cross and native compiler) almost has support for that. The source is here: https://www.jslite.net/cgi-bin/9995/dir?ci=tip (ccom, cc and c2 directories). It is K&R C though, so if you want to compile recent C code you need to do some tweaking. This C compiler is derived from the original C compiler as developed by Dennis Ritchie for the PDP-11 mini. As many people on this list will be aware, the instruction set of the PDP-11 and the 9900 are quite close. In the late 70's, this compiler was modified to generate overlays for programs that could not fit in 16 bits (this work was originally done at Berkeley for 2.10BSD). The overlay system is quite clever and does not require modification to the C source: all the work is done by the linker. In essence, functions that call across overlays do so via a small (automatically generated) thunk that adjusts the memory mapping as needed. The process is described here (nroff document): https://www.tuhs.org/cgi-bin/utree.pl?file=2.11BSD/doc/2.10/ovpap The Mini-Cortex compiler has the code in it to support this feature; however I've never written the bits of support code that it needs. Hence, it *almost* supports this.
  43. As others have pointed out, the XEGS did not replace the 7800. Indeed from 1988 to 1992, Atari sold three 8-bit console architectures as the 2600 was also still being actively sold. The August 1988 Antic article that @pacman000 linked to earlier is almost as interesting for the questions that were not asked; namely "why another architecture?" when Atari already had two, one of which was at least somewhat competitive to the NES and Sega in terms of hardware (at least if you turned the TV volume down to zero). A review of Toys R Us catalogs from late 1988 shows the 7800 being positioned as cheaper ($80 vs $100) than the Sega or the NES in basic package form. That the executives quoted in the Antic article wanted the $150 games machine over the $80 "powerful" computer isn't surprising. The computer would likely create an expectation of post-sales support from technically challenged parents, whereas a simpler game console would not, and the game console would generate additional revenue from game cartridge sales, whereas a computer might not. But how to create a higher-margin deluxe 7800 package? Atari killed off the keyboard attachment and the XM expansion (or whatever it was going to be called) and had torched the relationship with GCC. Nintendo had their light gun and a dance pad. For the 7800 Atari had.... a sexy euro-style controller? In addition someone else pointed out in an earlier thread that I think bears repeating; Nintendo was locking up software publishers with exclusive deals for the NES, freezing out Sega and Atari. But these deals could not cover software that already existed. Atari struggled to launch new titles for the 7800, and much of what did come out was improved arcade conversions from the early 80s, but less so titles that were in the arcades at the time. But with the XEGS Atari was able to instantly bring to market a significant number of game cartridges of a higher quality than they would be able to quickly get ported to the 7800. The Tramels didn't care at all about their customers, they cared only that they were making a profit. I for one don't blame them for that, although it was ultimately short-sighted and self-defeating. What I find interesting is that they didn't kill of the 7800 in 1988, and that they did not tells me that either it was selling well enough to justify continuing supplying it, or that they had a warehouse full of unsold inventory that they were slowly draining. I don't know when the last 7800 production run was made and I would be interest to learn if anyone knows. But the XEGS totally made sense to me in retrospect. For almost no development cost they got a "new" console product with a software library that circumvented Nintendo's strangle hold and allowed them to position it as a more sensible alternative to the game-only NES. Of course that all makes sense in the abstract. In reality, the kids wanted Super Mario Bros, and even a face lifted Mario Bros on the XE just wasn't going to cut it.
  44. It would be. However US law says if you get sent something, it's yours, even if by mistake. It is considered a gift. Circuit City sent me a second fat PS3 back in the day. That was nice of them.
  45. My all-time collecting mistakes: Not buying that $20 Virtual Boy from the clearance bin at Kay-Bee Toys. I had the thing in my hands, I had the cash (which wasn't necessarily a given since I was 12). But I and the friend I was with laughed it off--the Virtual Boy was already a punchline by then, in 1997--and I put it back. I probably bought a CD from the record store instead. Around the same time, when the Atari Jaguar had eight or nine toes in the grave, another toy store across town was clearancing out Jaguar stuff. I don't remember how much for systems or games, but cheap. Not cheap enough to buy on my own, though (again, I was 11 or 12), and even for the price it would have been a pretty tough sell getting my parents to buy one for me when we already had Nintendo (which still saw occasional use), Genesis, Game Boy, Game Gear, a rocking 486 PC, and maybe even our PlayStation. Looking back I probably could have finagled some way of getting one of their Jaguars and a game or two, but it didn't seem worth it. I passed on a box of a couple dozen Atari 5200 cartridges for a dollar in 2000 or 2001. For the life of me, I can't understand why I turned that down. Whatever reasons I had that seemed to make sense at the time were just dumb in hindsight. I will say in my defense, though, that I was young, dumb, and stupid, and it was so early in my collecting career that I didn't even think of myself as a collector--all I really wanted was the Atari 2600, and I had that (and the Odyssey 2 and Intellivision I got along the way), so I figured I was good. Little did I know...😆
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