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About FarmerPotato

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  • Birthday 01/01/1971

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    Austin, TX
  • Interests
    TI-99/4A. FORTH. Verilog.
  • Currently Playing
    Last year: Port Royale 3, Pocket Trains, Minecraft, Master of Orion II, PacMan 256, Katamari Damacy, We Love Katamari, NY Times Crossword
    This year: Katamari Damacy Reroll, Settlers of Catan Universe, Chisholm Trail, NY Times Crossword

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  1. May's game was SpotShot, or Dragonflyer, by Jim Dramis/Softmachine later published by Databiotics. I hope you all enjoyed this, it's one of my favorite games on the TI. The strategy is tough to figure out, but now we have a video guide to the game I didn't know it was possible to get to level 15 but y'all inspired me early on to keep practicing. I forgot to post my improved scores, but I would still be in 5th place! Congratulations to everybody who either tested the waters or blew through a dozen levels! fimbulvetr 6210 farmerpotato 34230 globeron 74190 level 12 mizapf 79000 level 15 pixelpedant 102540 level 15 jwild 120880 level 15 Next, Jwild picks the game for the month of June. P.S. why the variability in score at level 15? I consistently get about 5000 per level, with the 10000 bonus after each 3. Is it possible to miss the bonus? Is mizapf playing a different version of the game?
  2. How long if you replace 4 * with 2 lshift?
  3. What follows is a sort of love letter to Lubbock, TX. I can't identify with or refute your experience with Lubbock, though it was probably very different for the engineers at TI, which included my father. But I would like to say that Lubbock was a great place to be a kid in the 80s. The straight grid of streets made it easy to attempt long distance trips on a bike. The streets were not grids in the neighborhoods. The public schools I went to were excellent (However, I was in honors programs from 3rd grade). Every teacher made an impression that I think about often. One thing stands out above the rigorous math and science: I don't think you could get a finer civics education than we had at my junior high. On one school trip, we went to New Mexico to see the Space Shuttle. Community theatre, music, and the arts were thriving at the downtown expo center. My family went to several shows per year, standard repertoire that I still rely on knowing. There were recitals at Texas Tech on the big pipe organ, and we heard carillon concerts on the lawn. I remember a lecture by Grace Hopper at Tech, where she spoke and answered questions about the early history of computing for four hours. Stephen Jay Gould came to Lubbock for the fossils, and later praised its people for "keeping Lubbock an intellectual center in a region with nothing for six hours in every direction." It was the boom years for video games. Finding the latest ones was a quest to be made on foot and bike. Tech had the biggest arcade around in The Well. Families might have one Atari or one type of computer. You got to experience them all. Also, dumpster diving at TI was a hoot. Everything about TI brought the thrill of arcane knowledge. In the bust years, searching for $1 video games was also a quest. Radio Shack had real kits, and you could attend several computer club meetings each month. We had FM99 and Tech's student KUTX. Every time a rock band came through, you knew it from the T-shirts kids wore the next day: Adam Ant, Duran Duran, Quiet Riot, Def Leppard, Motley Crue. Locally, we had Krokus and the Maines Brothers (most appreciated because they had Star Wars on laserdisc. Also they played music.) Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, E.T. and Lord of the Rings provided the common myths. It didn't hurt that Lubbock looks exactly like Tatooine! D&D was growing fast, though the churches railed against it. Yes, churches were everywhere. Then again, Jim Dramis was my Sunday School teacher for a while: the game programmer, of Munch Man and Parsec fame. I kept my guilty secret of pirated games to myself. In addition to alcohol, toys were not sold on Sunday. Blue laws. Our preacher was a theatre major, who randomly appeared in character for sermons (I learned all the prophets, major and minor, this way.) Our family studied Greek through the church. Almost a rarity these days, I went from translating the Bible, onward to Homer (actually, more Dionysius of Halicarnassus), opening up a world of classical knowledge. Scouting was huge. I participated most years. We camped a lot. Sure, that involved trips to New Mexico, not just the plains area. I spent my summers in a place most consider infinitely more boring: Wayside TX, outside Canyon, TX, outside Amarillo--which was considered the big city. But Palo Duro Canyon is a breathtaking place. I kept going back because its beauty cast a spell on me. I grew to love the outside there. Launching rockets in cotton fields. Exploring the playa lakes (clay mud pits for runoff), tunnels under the highways, breaking into tornado shelters, finding the best alleys to ride through (every house had an alley), dumpster diving, running around with all the other kids in the excellent weather (hot summer and occasionally a good snowfall). Helping my brother's team make rafts for the Clearwater Canyon river race. (Still have the belt buckle.) Lubbock was surrounded by old things: quaint museums of history, the amazing Ranching Heritage Center (think pioneer village). The big Texas Tech museum. And in those places, you not only went to fairs and festivals, but took art classes in the summer, and astronomy at the Spitz Planetarium. I was at Lubbock's Garden Arts Center frequently. It was the hub for music recitals, weddings, computer fairs, formal dinners, etc (I had no interest in gardening then, other than to explore the labyrinths.) We had bulletin boards and modems. Lubbock produced Cult of the Dead Cow, the famous hacking group, out of my junior high (I went to them for warez. They consider me a member somehow.) Lubbock was where I had my first unforgettable crush. The friends I made in grade school, and kept through college, were the truest friends I've ever had. And, oh yeah, I only saw Prairie Dog Town during the first month in Lubbock. Then I forgot about it. My family gave up Cupertino, CA for Lubbock, TX, after TI's incentives. Would I have had a better life growing up back there? Who can say?
  4. Now what happens if you use PAD for WS and 15 unrolled MOVB * Rx+, *R15 ... RT That would use 18+16+16 words or 100 bytes of PAD.
  5. The second 910mp I bought arrived DOA. The menus work but no video. One blown cap inside, in the main board, but replacing that didn’t change anything.
  6. My score 34230. I don't think I've seen level 7 until now. Some things I started to notice in the game: After level 4, you get a big bonus, then level 5 seems easier. Like how in Munch Man, the Hoono levels come in groups of 3, then the next group starts off easier, then ramps up. Level 4 I think is the twisty little chains of squirted out toothpaste? I suspect Level 5, Bricks in a Wall, only looks easier. Making the weakness holes bigger: I try to decide if I'm shooting the leading edge or the trailing edge of the weak spot. Do the holes line up again naturally? I guess the pattern repeats at regular intervals, but I'm not sure they align. I'm too busy shooting to observe! The time spent lasering all the way to the right and off the screen, is time you are not lasering any pixels. Which means more pixels in your way. You get more points per bug when shooting all the way over to the right. 10 when shot in the column right in front of you, 50 when it's way over to the right. The amounts go up after some levels. I saw 30-70. Overall, this game is really well designed, as you would expect from Sofmachine. Maybe someone can list out all their games (Qmaze/Jumpy, Barrage?) , as well as prior games of the programmers.. I believe it's the A's of the A list of TI game programmers.
  7. Holy cow, I can not get anywhere near jwild's score. I never imagined you could get that far in this game!
  8. First, I read through this with great interest on friday. I have some questions about it. I understand that VGM is a raw capture of the sound chips writes, right? So once you have it separated into voices, you categorize the tone frequencies into 256 levels? This would seem ok for musical notes, but what happens to portamento? or vibrato? How many steps between tones? Another thing I am confused about... AY vs PSG. Does PSG always mean SN76489 and not sometimes AY-8910-3? Because for a while, since chiptunes DJs had called them both PSGs, I thought the MSX had the 76489, when it turns out it's the AY-8910-3. The translated Japanese docs call the AY a PSG or an SSG when they're not defining it as "the cascade of the horizontal output." Is the translation from AY to PSG mostly about changing the commands or do you lose precision?
  9. May’s game shall be Spot Shot, or Dragonflyer. im disappointed that Tex Turbo doesn’t award any more points for combos. And only for killing bugs. I just played it a lot and got in the flow starting at speed 3. Wait, do you get 100xStarting speed? I got 300 points per bug throughout the game. Onward to Spot Shot! Good luck to all!
  10. That's thought-provoking... what about using the gpu to do it? To have another sprite track the ghost's location. Without modifying the game code. Is there any way to flash a gpu program, so that it loads up and starts every time? (feature request idea) An arcade game cabinet with an F18A would have a single purpose.
  11. I grabbed STARTING FORTH on Kindle (2017 eBook). POSTPONE is in chapter 11 Defining Words. I had a paper copy in the 80s and I gave up on compiling words when the syntax didn't match TI FORTH. I use CREATE or <BUILDS >DOES now...
  12. I appreciate all the idioms you listed! I think I got it. You want $OF to execute immediately and compile 4 words. [ ] do not help accomplish that... what I was getting at needs to EVALUATE an expression at run-time. POSTPONE really is the shortest way to accomplish that. BTW, I see this isn't going to compile either, because the IF isn't balanced. : $OF OVER =$ IF DROP ; P.S. At the moment I'm using MeCrisp FORTH on BlackIce, which implements some layers of ANS FORTH. I'm testing my 9958 board. It will be a while before I get to a 9900 FORTH again.
  13. I think you are all talking about Graphics 1 mode? In bitmap, I like to arrange the screen table as chars 0:8:16:24 ... 1:9:17:25. So that I set the VDPWA and stripe down 8 chars in a column, then the next 8, and so on. Repeat for the other 3rds. I worked on this when I was trying a rectangle fill.
  14. What is the difference between $OF and: : $OF OVER =$ IF DROP ; or : $OF [ OVER =$ IF DROP ] ; IMMEDIATE I'm trying to understand POSTPONE and IMMEDIATE and [ ] from Starting FORTH. One of the chapters I could not understand at all when I was younger.
  15. Wow, that is a fine-looking piece of furniture you made. I really admire it. The changing area on top, is that a separate piece?
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