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Showing content with the highest reputation since 07/27/2021 in Blog Entries

  1. 1 point
    I haven't been actively doing this as much recently, I've had the sudden urge to play some Sonic, and, well, you know how that goes.. But yeah, at this point I've learned the majority of the bit-specific instructions. The ones I've learned over the last few days are: or eor bset bclr bchg I'll briefly go over each of them. The "or" instruction is similar to the "and" instruction I talked about last time. What it does is compare the bits of the source and destination operand. If the bits of each are either both 1, or one of them is 1, then the result will be "set" for that bit. "eor" (written as "xor" in most other assemblers) stands for "exclusive or". It works the same way as OR, except, the result will only be 1 if either the destination or source has a 1 for that bit. Unlike OR, it can't be both. bset, blcr, and bchg all follow the same overall rules apart from the function they serve. As you may know, there are two different states a bit can be in: 0 = clear 1 = set As such, these three instructions are pretty self explanatory. What they do is modify the state of a bit that you've specified. They can be used on data registers, and directly into memory addresses. They however, CANNOT be used directly on address registers, but they can be used on the data contained in the offest of an address register. Let's say you wanted to "clear" a bit in data register 0. Well, for starters, the 68000 has data and address registers which contain a long-word of space. Meaning, you have 32 bits to work with. Now that we know that, the next bit of code should be more clear: bclr.l #$1F,d0 This will clear the bit 1F (31 in decimal) in data register 0. Lets say you wanted to clear a bit directly in memory. This is just as simple, except, you can only specify a byte of data. Meaning, you can only change the state of 1 out of 8 bits at once: bclr.b #$07,$0000002A This will clear the 07th (8th) bit held at offset 0000002A. Let's pretend that address contains the byte "FF". In binary, that's 1111 1111. Because we've cleared bit 07, that gives us 0111 1111. Which equals 7F. Offset 0000002A now contains 7F. To clarify, the "bchg" instruction works just like bclr and bset. What it does is reverse the bit specified. For example, if a bit is clear, bchg will make it set, and vice versa. All other rules apply. That's all for today. I'll have more content soon.
  2. 1 point
    So I have been working on a Boggle puzzle for what seems like a million years now, trying to fit 9 answers in a 5x5 space. For those who don't know, a Boggle puzzle is like a word find only the letters aren't necessarily next to each other and can be diagonal and meander all around, like the words you'd find if you were playing Boggle. I started doing these a long time ago after seeing a couple in Games magazine. I had 8 answers, but I was certain I could fit 9 in after I thought of a good answer that had all common letters in it. But it proved tougher than I thought. It took literally hours and hours (although not in a row) of resetting letters in different places until I got this: Thankfully Leo is only three letters long, and therefore not in this one, or I would have a lot more to do. You can find this, as well as 50 others I've done, here. Now I can go back to working on Nincompoop for Game Boy tomorrow. I stated in my last blog entry earlier today that I felt like I could sleep. Well, that's exactly what I did. I went to sleep at about 3 p.m. and woke up a few hours later after having a very strange nightmare. I woke up, but I was too tired, and I hoped that if I fell back asleep, that it wouldn't continue. Well, I did, and it did. Argh. Thankfully I woke up again after a pivotal point in it. It was quite strange. I dreamt I was in a fancy hotel, but I didn't have the right credentials to rent a room in it, but I was in the room anyway, and there were like a million different TV channels. It was quite strange.
  3. 1 point
    What we have here is my 1st attempt at using Harry's XB compiler. All I can say is, WOW! that's fast. The game is an Othello game I typed in from some? book and summited to the TI99IUG waaaay back when we used to type in such things from dead tree sources. It was originally in good ole' TI BASIC. The game was painfully slow, really slow, I mean, get a cup of coffee, drink it, piss it out and maybe the computer would have made a play slow. I later, much later like, 2018 later, rewrote it and tightened it up in XB. Now you could just go get a cup of coffee and a sip before the computer made a play. Still slow. That made it a perfect candidate for compiling. What I expected was a moodiest speed increase, make it playable increase. Instead what I got was a, blink and you missed the computer play, fast. Wow! This compiler makes so really fast code! If you follow Harry's documentation and play within the limits the compile is stupid easy. My 1st compile returned no errors and played the 1st time. The game is a simple version of Othello. Graphics are fair to good and the play, as stated, is fast. There are 3 levels of play and I can tell you Level 3 is very hard to beat. You can specify Computer or Human start 1st. Nothing more except did I mention it was FAST ! The download file contains the self boot game on .DSK and the official rules for Othello. Enjoy, HLO othello256c.zip
  4. 1 point
    I must be the only person on the planet that has a hard time reading indented code. If you put "indented code is not easier to read" into Google, there isn't even one result. For me it's like trying to read a whole page of centered text. Or trying to read code that is following the jagged lines of a polygraph. I get lost jerking my eyes back and forth all over the page trying to read indented code. The following excerpt from the page below explains what I'm talking about: https://uxmovement.com/content/why-you-should-never-center-align-paragraph-text/ Whether it's code or paragraphs, I can read faster and it doesn't hurt my eyes as much if it's in a straight line down the left side and not spread out all over the place in a jagged fashion. Random Terrain
  5. 1 point
    Here are my plans for platformers using that 7800Basic demo. The Agathodaimon (Rastan Saga and Curse of Issyos meet Zelda 2, Gargoyle's Quest II, and Robot Ninja Haggleman 3. I was planning on having 7800XM support, but Curt Vendel's death shot the chances of that happening down.) Kid Zenithian (Classic Mega Man, but with the ability to duck and shoot upward. See also Magical Doropie/The Krion Conquest.) Ð838 (Metroid Clone) Snáwcild (A Ninja Gaiden clone featuring a Demon Lands character whose name literally translates to Snow Child.) Ildu (Wonder-Boy-esque platformer with Old English/Anglo-Saxon themes. Part of the Middanyeard series.) Ghosts 'n Goblins clone.
  6. 1 point
    Okay... let's try this again. After my last attempt to see Avengers: Age of Ultron, I was so fed-up with going to the movies, I really had no interest in trying again. But here I am, in a different multiplex, ten minutes away from my second attempt. I'm not holding out much hope, since I've since read several articles that state that movie theater chains intentionally tell their employees not to correctly change over their projectors from 3D to 2D, since it costs time and money and they don't want to train people to do it right. I guess I'll find out soon enough. When I update this entry after the movie, I'll post some info about the other theater's response, and my response to them. Time now to post this and shut off my iPhone. Wish me luck! (One movie later...) If you recall from last time, I stopped short of reviewing Avengers: Age of Ultron because the projection was so dim, I literally couldn't see a lot of what was going on. I was distracted through the whole movie by how dark the picture was, as well as how low the volume was (I couldn't hear a lot of the dialog). I wrote a complaint to the movie chain, who e-mailed an apology and offered free passes, and then put the theater manager in touch with me, who also apologized and similarly offered me free passes. I turned them both down. My response to them was that I wasn't interested in free passes, but rather some assurance that I was going to be able to see movies presented properly. I (admittedly sarcastically) asked Regal if they could recommend another theater, to which they replied to me to type in my zip code on Regal's website, which would find the next nearest Regal theater. Not helpful. The theater manager said that their technical support people would be investigating what had happened, and I responded that I'd like to hear the results of that investigation. However, I already knew the issue. I linked to a couple of articles last time, but this one is better still - from the Boston Globe. This succinctly describes the problem with theater chains using Sony 4K digital projectors for both 3D and 2D screenings, without changing the setup between the two. It diminishes the brightness of 2D screenings by half, or worse. According to the Globe (and other articles), some theater chains are intentionally choosing not to change out their lenses, despite knowing the negative effect this is going to have on the projection. And yes - they do know. It would be impossible to be even remotely associated with running a movie theater (much less a chain of them) without understanding the technology behind them. They're just choosing to ignore it, because in the end, they simply don't care. And apparently, neither do audiences. If the audiences complained enough, or stopped going, things would have to change. But most audiences don't notice, because they don't know what they're looking at. They're there to watch a movie - not critically analyze it. If it's dark, they probably just chalk it up to "being at the movies", as opposed to say, watching the movie on Netflix on an iPad. By going to a different theater (although unfortunately, still part of the Regal monopoly) and choosing a screen that had been running 2D all day, I had hoped that maybe I'd luck out and get a properly set up projector. No such luck. They were still running it with the 3D lens in place. How do I know? Well, from the Boston Globe article, "If you see two beams of light, one stacked on top of the other, thats a Sony with the 3-D lens still in place." In fact, I could clearly see the 3D lens on the projector after the lights came up after the movie. It's pretty unmistakable. The 3D lens looks nothing like the 2D lens. So... how hard is it to change the lenses? Well, take a look for yourself. It takes about 6 1/2 minutes. And this is something that - at most - might have to be done once per day. And that's pretty unlikely since most theaters aren't going to be changing between 2D and 3D screenings during the day. Maybe on the weekend when a big movie is opening. It's not rocket science. But theater chains don't want to do it. They deem it unnecessary, because people aren't complaining. But look at it this way - if the concession stand employees were spitting in everyone's Cokes, but nobody complained because they didn't know, would that make it okay? (For all I know, maybe that's a policy of the Regal chain, too.) I will say this - the projection was marginally better than the other theater. Was it good? No. But it was at least tolerable. However, the incessant buzzing in the sound system was not. So I'll be writing Regal again. And unless I find another theater to go to, this will be my last movie review. I'm done. I was planning to see quite a few movies this year, too. Here are the ones I won't be seeing now: Mad Max: Fury Road Tomorrowland Jurassic Park Terminator Genisys Inside Out (we had a sneak preview of this at work - but I was too wiped out from our end-of-year crunch to go, now I wish I had) Ant Man Fantastic Four (admittedly - I probably would've skipped this one anyway) Spectre The Good Dinosaur Star Wars: The Force Awakens Too bad. I bet at least two or three of those would have been pretty good. But man... I'm going to be saving a truckload of money! So then... onto the review itself. And I will endeavor to separate my viewing experience, from the movie itself. From the opening action sequence of the film, Age of Ultron seemed muddled. Over-busy. Jumbled. The whole opening was full of quick quips and all-too-fast cuts, with nobody getting any real focus. And really this sums up a lot of the movie for me as well. It's unfocused. The first Avengers movie worked well because there were effectively only five Avengers: Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk and the Black Widow. Hawkeye spent most of the film as a brainwashed baddie. There was enough screen time to go around, and give everyone their own moments to shine. Now though, you have all five of those Avengers, plus Hawkeye, plus Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, plus the Vision, plus various other characters (several villains besides Ultron, and a few other superhero cameos) and suddenly the movie is incredibly crowded. And all of the character moments seemed forced, too. A sort-of romance blooming out of nowhere, backstory/flashback/nightmare dream sequences that are so shallow as to give us no insight into any of the characters, a hidden double-life, the sudden (and completely inexplicable) re-emergence of a significant plot element, the sudden (and completely inexplicable) change of characters from vengeful villains to selfless heroes, forced bickering and conflicts, out-of-character behavior, and so forth. It all seemed very artificial, and did nothing to endear these characters to me. I had a hard time really caring about them, or what happened to them. And these are all characters that, in other films, I really like. I should point out that it's not that they're particularly unlikeable, but Age of Ultron does nothing to help these characters grow. Even the worst of the Iron Man films at least moved Tony Stark forward in some way. And for my money, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is now the gold standard for what a character-driven superhero movie should be. Age of Ultron is a step backwards. They gave Hawkeye some better scenes this time around, but they almost seemed to be there to make up for him being a zombie for most of the previous movie. Then, there's the villain. Marvel paid for James Spader, so they wanted to use James Spader. I guess they wanted Ultron to be conflicted, emotional, flawed and human. But he was too human. He was too... odd. Too funny. His face was too expressive. So expressive, it became distracting. Let me spell this out for you Marvel: Ultron is a ROBOT. For comparison, how much personality does C-3PO manage to convey without being able to even blink? Ultron's voice, at times, just wasn't robotic enough. Or angry enough. There was no menace to it. It should have sounded more like a malfunctioning computer... metallic dementia tinged with rage, like in Colossus: The Forbin Project. Now that was a scary computer. Also, I had trouble buying into Ultron's motivation, anger, or ultimate plan (which was patently ridiculous - something which may work in a comic book, but not in a comic book movie). And speaking of the movie feeling crowded... how did Ultron (or his creators) ever find enough time to make so many copies of him? I suppose maybe his copies were making copies, but it would have been nice if it were better explained. Frankly, there are plot holes big enough to drive a truck through. Massive, gaping plot holes. The first Avengers movie isn't exactly a pantheon of logic, but at least Loki's motives were clear, and he was incredibly entertaining to watch. Here, Ultron is just a big, goofy disappointment. And one that is apparently very easy to repeatedly destroy, regardless of whatever super powers (or mildly enhanced abilities) you happen to have. Seriously... how does Quicksilver manage to destroy big, metal robots just by punching them, without seriously hurting himself? There was one character who came out of the movie working very well indeed - and that was the Vision. He's kind of a weird character in the comics, and one which I wasn't sure would work in a movie, but he worked incredibly well. He had some of the better moments in the film, although his powers were largely skimmed over, so if you blinked, you wouldn't really know what he was really capable of doing. They also glossed over the Scarlet Witch's abilities, just chalking them up to being "weird". I guess a picture is supposed to be worth a thousand words, but a few more words wouldn't have hurt. Better still, a few less characters wouldn't have hurt. I suppose some people are lamenting over Joss Whedon being done with making Avengers movies now, but I'm not. Frankly, I think he bit off more than he could chew with this one. Too many characters, and not enough time spent to really develop them. The major threat was hokey, the film was cluttered, the action sequences were noisy and unfocused... it just wasn't up to the standard the first film set. By the time the next Avengers films come out, I wonder if the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be so cluttered that this will become the norm? I'm already worried that Captain America: Civil War may tread that ground, since reportedly there will be quite a few characters appearing in that film. If the last Cap film proved anything, it's that sometimes smaller is better. (Smaller in terms of the character focus - the plot ramifications of course were huge.) That said, there were some great moments in the film. The Hulk vs. Hulkbuster fight was particularly fun (despite most of it being spoiled in trailers and commercials), although it was apparently shot for a different aspect ratio than what I saw it in, because the action was cropped in so tight, it made it difficult to see what was happening at times. This happened throughout the film, too. Maybe the IMAX release was better. Can't blame the theater for that one though... that's just bad cinematography. In the end, Avengers: Age of Ultron just can't live up to its predecessor. Or really, most of its predecessors. It's not that it's bad, but it's not on the same level as Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Or Guardians of the Galaxy. Or The Avengers. Or Iron Man. With this one, Marvel stumbles a bit. But with $1.2 billion in box office revenue, they probably don't care. And at least it's not a DC movie. Avengers: Age of Ultron gets a 7.2/10. (But only because I gave Man of Steel a 7, otherwise it'd be closer to a 6.
  7. 1 point
    This one is a bit more laid-back compared to the last entries. I had some irl stuff going on with my little sister... So anyway, today I dipped my toes into some basic bit-specific instructions. Those being, and and not. In order to understand how these instructions work, you need to first understand what the data equals in binary. Starting off with the not instruction, what it does is reverse the "bits" in binary for the amount of data specified. (e.g, if a bit is set, it'll change it to clear, and vise-versa.) Let's keep it simple and use a byte as an example: not.b $0000002C Let's pretend that a byte "5F" is located at address 0000002C: 5F = 0101 1111 The "NOT" instruction reverses the bits, which gives you: 1010 0000 = A0 Because "5F" has been reversed to "A0", the byte A0 is now located at offset 0000002C. Meanwhile, the and instruction is a bit more complicated. What it does is perform AND logical between the source operand and destination operand, with the result being saved to the destination operand. So what is AND logical? Let's take two bits, one from the source operand, and one from the destination operand to perform AND logical: source operand destination operand Result 0 AND 0 = 0 0 AND 1 = 0 1 AND 0 = 0 1 AND 1 = 1 Basically, both have to be 1 in order for the result to equal 1. The best way to look at it is that 0 = False and 1 = True. If the source operand AND the destination operand are true, then the result is "true". Which is where the instruction gets its name from. Let's use an example, pretend that "d0" contains 01234567. andi.b #$D1,d0 What this line of code does is perform AND logical between byte D1, and byte 67 (located in data register 0). D1 = 1101 0001 AND 67 = 0110 0111 40 = 0100 0000 (result) d0 now has 01234540 in memory. Anyhoo, that's all for today. I apologize for this entry not having as much content. Hopefully that won't be the case tomorrow.
  8. 1 point
    Well, now I've got some new instructions under my belt. It's still the really basic stuff mind you (add, sub, swap, clr, exg etc.), but now I've got a decent handle on what it's like to move memory around. Right now I'm trying to memorize the technicalities (like how you cannot move word or long-word sized data in and out of memory if the address is an odd number, as the 68k will crash with an "address error"), and tomorrow I'll probably dip my toes into bit-specific instructions such as not. The tutorial I've been using online has little things at the end of each section to test your knowledge. Here's the last one I went through: move.w #$0010,d0 move.w d0,$00000040 move.w d0,d1 add.w d1,d1 add.w d0,d1 sub.w $00000040,d1 swap d1 move.w d0,d1 movea.l #$00000040,a4 add.w (a4),d1 move.w d1,(a4) exg.l d1,d0 swap d0 clr.w d0 Basically, each data register had the value of 00000000 to start with, and I needed to figure out what d0 contained after all of this information was processed. Here's my work: move.w #$0010,d0 (d0 now has 00000010) move.w d0,$00000040 (offset 00000040 and 00000041 have byte 00 and 10 respectively) move.w d0,d1 (d1 now has 00000010) add.w d1,d1 (d1 now has 00000020) add.w d0,d1 (d1 now has 00000030) sub.w $00000040,d1 (d1 now has 00000020) swap d1 (d1 now has 20000000) move.w d0,d1 (d1 now has 20000010) movea.l #$00000040,a4 (a4 now has $00000040, #$00000010) add.w (a4),d1 (d1 now has 20000020) move.w d1,(a4) (a4 now has $00000040, #$20000020) exg.l d1,d0 (d1 now has 000000010, d0 now has 20000020) swap d0 (d0 now has 00202000 clr.w d0 (d0 now has 00200000) I came to the conclusion that d0 had 00200000 in memory, which was correct!
  9. 1 point
    I will work on the clouds in HERTS3 sometime when I'm bored. Right now I am working on Onion Ring of Fate for the Jaguar even though I don't have any idea for it. Right now, though, it's like Super Mario Bros. I put a few hours' work in today. I put in a temporary background that I'm scrolling. This is what it looks like. I really should hook up the Jaguar and give it a go. And if you'd like to make a couple of backgrounds for me, I'll give you an idea of what I'm doing here. Except the pictures need to be in bmp mode, preferrably 4 bit, but if you need to go 8 bit, please keep the # of colors below 100.
  10. 1 point
    An Atari 2600 game called Fire! that supposedly involved setting fire to things first appeared on some of the original collectors lists of unreleased Atari games that began circulating on the net in the late 1990s and early 2000s including this one. I often wondered about this game myself, as it also appeared in the Rumor Mill section of the Digital Press Guide... https://www.digitpress.com/video-game-guide/?mode=GameInfo&gameid=24691 No one seemed to know much about the game. I remember contacting Joe Santulli of Digital Press years ago and asking him about it but he had no idea either. I never really believed that the game existed in the first place but I was intrigued and curious enough to want to know how the rumors surrounding this game started. I started digging into this mystery a bit recently after noticing that someone had posted about it here on the forums. By searching newspapers from 1982-84, I was able to find that the likely original source for the rumored existence of such a game is a snippet from a January 1984 article about collectible and controversial video games that appeared in the St. Petersburg Times (and likely other newspapers as well)... "Fire! likewise generated protests because the "hero" here had to enter a building, set it afire with kerosene, and then escape before the blazing building collapsed. The game from Palmtex was short-lived." https://www.newspapers.com/image/320819914/ However, I believe no such game ever existed and the writer of that article was either confused or simply misinformed. The only game resembling this description is a 1982 game released for the Apple II by Muse Software called Firebug that did involve starting fires and likely did generate controversy. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firebug_(video_game) Palmtex was a manufacturer of electronic games that was the original distributor of the Nintendo Game & Watch series of handhelds (including Fire) in North America. The writer of that 1984 article was probably thinking of the game Firebug by Muse but mistakenly identified it as Fire by Palmtex. The rumored Atari game is thus the result of a case of mistaken identity involving memories from two unrelated games being combined into one. Needless to say, collectors can strike this one from the rumor mill.
  11. 1 point
    Ugh. My list of 'games-started-but-not-worked-on-in-a-while' is getting bigger. After Meteor Shower is completed, I'd like to get back to Frenzy but I have all of these in total: Frenzy BattleZone Bob I *hate* not finishing things...
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