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Great Hierophant

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About Great Hierophant

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  1. I think I fixed the issue in the most basic way, by gently and slowly closing the drive door. Before the disk operation was either unreliable or not functional, now it is reliable.
  2. I bought a supposedly "working" Disk II off eBay and got it yesterday but it was flaky from the beginning with reading and writing disks. Sometimes it would not even start the process, with a program saying the drive was busy. Then it developed an issue where the drive would not even spin the disk. The only way I could get the disk to spin was by lowering the drive door so the door would barely have enough of a position to remain closed. Any further and the motor simply won't spin. The drive belt (an ALPS drive) did not look worn or loose. The drive door is a bit creaky but it is not misaligned when it is shut. Even when the disk does spin, programs now always spit out errors like "I/O Error" or "error track $00 when one tries to format a disk. It is as if the drive head is not moving correctly on the track the stepper motor uses to position it. It will move in response to a command, but as the disk is unformatted, it cannot read anything. Could a too light of a clamp cause the r/w head not to make close enough contact with the disk media? There is a Floppy Emu at Drive 1 and it works just fine with my Apple //e. Nothing else is in the //e at present except an extended 80-column card.
  3. I think he could have dremeled a slot in the security screws without reaching the metal housing underneath. But a security bit set is cheap and I know they can open those screws, I have an IBM PC/XT Power Supply that uses them. I definitely believe he has reached his Peter Principle here.
  4. Oh I won't, when it's released. Until then there isn't enough information for the spreadsheet and the available videos have been most unhelpful to identify what Mockingboard features the game is supposed to support. I tried all available images of Black Belt from Asimov and the only flux-level copy from Archive.org (turned out to be garbage) I could find and they did not produce any Mockingboard sound, just ordinary Speaker sound. AppleWin has separate sliders for Speaker and Mockingboard sound, making it easy to check when the audio is ambiguous. Here is the updated spreadsheet. One new game added to the list is Mockingboard Crowther and Woods Adventure, which was a recent find. It only's feature is Text to Speech. I have either working woz images or clean cracked images of all Working Games on the list except for OidZone! and have personally confirmed their Mockingboard capabilities. Mockingboard Software Audit 09-28-20.zip
  5. I did a byte comparison between the skull and crossbones version of Ultima III on Asimov and the defective Mockingboard detection version of Ultima III on Asimov. There is exactly nine bytes difference between the two versions. And those bytes are spread out across the image. There is no way that a Mockingboard music routine, or even the animated skull drawing routine fits into nine bytes. Both "versions" can use each other's Player Master disk images but no others. My conclusion is that someone found the skull and crossbones version and decided to fix it to come as close to the original game as he or she could. Therefore, I do not believe that there ever was a non-Mockingboard version of this game. There is no evidence of such a version. Unfortunately this also means that there is no clean copy of Version 1's Player Master disk. The Exodus Construction Set shows that there were monsters already generated on the Sosaria map and even an unopened treasure map. It also may have shown some erroneous tiles on the map which I had to fix by hand with reference to the Secrets of Sosaria Clue Book. The Monster Roster must also be wiped for the map. No other maps appeared to have issues.
  6. I think the easier solution is that if you do not have the correct decoder ROM, just burn one on an EPROM, the pinout should be compatible.
  7. The woz image worked ok for me in AppleWin to write a high score. woz images have a byte in their starting header to indicate whether the disk is write protected or not. AppleWin will not override this byte. My woz image of Summer Games did not have the byte set. If byte 22 in the disk image is 00, then the disk is not write protected. If byte 22 in the disk image is 01, then the disk image is write protected. You can edit the byte but AppleWin will throw up a CRC32 error, but you can ignore it and bypass it.
  8. I thought that the CoCo 3's cartridge slot outputs a 1.79MHz signal, so could a clock doubling circuit (or a clock quadrupling circuit for the CoCo 1 &2) be used to bypass the issue of needing a 3.58MHz crystal oscillator?
  9. The Game Master Cartridge sounds like a nearly ideal solution, although the use of a 4MHz clock over a 3.58MHz clock is a bit of a head scratcher, especially as the SN76489 is not great when it comes to the lower sound frequencies it can produce (109Hz being the lowest at 3.58MHz and 122Hz at 4MHz) and most other systems which used the SN76489 ran it at 3.58MHz.
  10. Most games that are "Apple IIe aware" use the cursor keys for movement. Interestingly, the Apple IIe has a numeric keypad connector which provides the X/Y output/input lines for a keypad. This allows you to use any passive keyboard matrix as a keypad if you connect the pins properly. The numeric keypad connector does not bring out all X and Y lines, it brings out X4-X7 and Y0-Y5. What any combination of X and Y are is defined by the keyboard decoder ROM, a simple 2KiB chip with EPROM compatible pinouts. The AY-3600 Keyboard Decoder reads this ROM to determine which ASCII to send when a key is pressed. Fortunately, with Keyboard ROM 341-0123-C or D, the cursor keys are mapped to the matrix that the numeric keypad uses. Y1 + X4 is down, Y1 + X5 is Up, Y1 + X6 is Left and Y1 + X7 is Right. Map those appropriately to a digital joystick (Y1 is the common) and there you have a digital joystick. However, the numeric keypads for the IIe had keys for Esc and Space, not Up and Down, and the Keyboard ROMs 341-0123-A and 341-0123-B would give keyboard inputs corresponding to those keys. But what about buttons? Well, PB0 and PB1 are typically used as buttons and connections for those are available on the Game I/O connector. They are also assigned to Open Apple and Closed Apple on the IIe keyboard. One thing to be aware of is that the button inputs connect to +5v, not ground, but they do not need pulldown resistors as in an Apple II or II+. So it is quite possible to make an Apple IIe Joystick that has digital inputs. Of course as contemplated this is the only Apple II system in which this idea will work. I have attached a file showing what modifications would need to be made to something common like an NES gamepad which would be needed to get a gamepad working. The PCB must be stripped of its chip and any passives without destroying the holes in the process. I would suggest using a DE-9 cable and soldering the wires on one end to the PCB as shown. The cable can plug into a mated DE-9 connector mounted on the IIe's rear and from there the other ends would connect to their appropriate pins.
  11. (Cross-posted from here) The Tandy Color Computer 3 received official releases of King's Quest III and Leisure Suit Larry, and they look and run almost identically to their IBM PC counterparts. Because the CoCo series only have a 6-bit DAC, the music output from a CoCo is PC-speaker quality on the official ports. Also, outputting sound to the DAC is rather CPU intensive so the official AGI engine for the CoCo never plays sound while animation occurs on the screen. Even an IBM PC can manage animation and sound at the same time. While Sierra only officially ported these two games, the CoCo community has ported the rest of them and made them all friendlier to larger storage devices than the official 157.5KiB CoCo disk format. A cursory review of these ports suggest that they simply used the official engine and tweaked it to work with the data files from the other games' PC versions and called it a day. But has there been any more ambition than this? Tandy released the Speech/Sound cartridge which contains an AY-3-8913 sound chip. The 8913 is quite capable of doing justice to the three voice music and sound effects that the AGI engine supported. The music and sound effects were originally designed for the SN76496, which the 8913 can eclipse in almost every way. Unfortunately, Sierra could not use it because of a design flaw : the cartridge fails to work in the CoCo's 3's high speed mode, being designed for the CoCo 2 which only supported low speed mode. However, the Speech/Sound cartridge can be modified without too much difficulty to work with the CoCo 3's high speed mode. The Tandy CoCo 3 would make a great, fairly compact AGI adventure game playing device if this one remaining flaw was addressed. Has there been any effort to do so?
  12. The Tandy Color Computer 3 received official releases of King's Quest III and Leisure Suit Larry, and they look and run almost identically to their IBM PC counterparts. Because the CoCo series only have a 6-bit DAC, the music output from a CoCo is PC-speaker quality on the official ports. Also, outputting sound to the DAC is rather CPU intensive so the official AGI engine for the CoCo never plays sound while animation occurs on the screen. Even an IBM PC can manage animation and PC speaker sound at the same time. While Sierra only officially ported these two games, the CoCo community has ported the rest of them and made them all friendlier to larger storage devices than the official 157.5KiB CoCo disk format. A cursory review of these ports suggest that they simply used the official engine and tweaked it to work with the data files from the other games' PC versions and called it a day. They appear to have the same musical limitations. But has there been any more ambition than this? Tandy released the Speech/Sound cartridge which contains an AY-3-8913 sound chip. The 8913 is quite capable of doing justice to the three voice music and sound effects that the AGI engine supported. The music and sound effects were originally designed for the SN76496, which the 8913 can eclipse in almost every way. Unfortunately, Sierra could not use it because of a design flaw : the cartridge fails to work in the CoCo's 3's high speed mode, being designed for the CoCo 2 which only supported low speed mode. However, the Speech/Sound cartridge can be modified without too much difficulty to work with the CoCo 3's high speed mode. The Tandy CoCo 3 would make a great, fairly compact AGI adventure game playing device if this one remaining flaw was addressed. Has there been any effort to do so?
  13. Did you try any if the [f1] or [f2] ROMs from Goodgen v3.21? I think they may work.
  14. Apple-brand auxillary cards come in three varieties. First there is the 80-column card : It only has 1KiB of RAM, enough for 80 column text but nothing else. Second is the early Enhanced 80 Column/64K Card : It comes with 64KiB of memory, which is required for Double High Resolution Graphics. Double High Resolution Graphics needs the leads at J1 connected for it to work. The jumper is there for owners of early Apple IIe motherboards which did not have the capability to use Double High Resolution Graphics regardless of the memory expansion in the auxillary slot. Finally came the "late" or "compact" Enhanced 80 Column/64K Card : This card came pre-installed in Apple IIe Platinum machines. It has the jumper permanently installed.
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