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About Rossman

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    Star Raider
  1. Hi, Retrospect. With mizaph's help some months ago I was successful at getting multiple disk drives working on the 99/8 emulation. In case it helps you at all, my mame command line is: mame64 ti99_8 -ui_active -uimodekey PGDN -hexbus hx5102 -hexbus:hx5102:d1 525dd -flop1 [path_to_first_diskette.dsk] -flop2 [path_to_second_diskette.dsk] -cartridge diskman3 Good luck, and I hope you are able to sort it out. Best regards, R.
  2. Hi, Retrospect. One habit that has been effective for me is that I log the night's work experience - what I've tried, done, learned, discovered - before calling it a night. It's not an abstract of lessons learned, it's just a raw dump of tried-failed-tried-worked-researched-learned-tried-succeeded. (Yes, I try to end every night's work on a success.) Compile time being what it is, I can update the log while I'm working. Helps me to record context, priority, conclusions, available information, questions, doubts, ambitions, etc. I have found this log helps when resuming a project. It puts me back into my frame of mind at the time I did something. Recreating my frame of mind in a cumulative fashion helps me to recapture a substantial portion of the body of understanding I had acquired at the time I suspended work. That, for me, is the most valuable thing to the log. I picked up Pascal development a few weeks ago after a half-year hiatus. A few weeks into it, I realize there was a standard (such as it is) I was driving to last year that can only be achieved through more than banal familiarity with language syntax. A few weeks ago, I logged "Now I know why Boston's second album was so bad compared to their first album." My formulaic approach to development was a function of me treating this exercise as an obligation rather than a learning exercise. "Beginner's mind" is so much more rewarding, especially in a hobby. There is joy in capturing it at the time, and value in capturing it to future you. And I most certainly do not want to be on a path to creating the Pascal equivalent of Boston's third ablum. Should that happen, it will be time to sell the p-code card. I use Evernote as my logging tool, but obviously there are many choices. Best regards, R.
  3. This is awesome. Thank you for posting your code. I was able to harvest the unit_10 code and it works. I now have 4 disk drives on my p-system. This will help me with developing my new project and refactoring my old project. Thanks again! Edit to the original post: Made a simple copy of my work disk. Seeing "Warning units 9 & 10 have the same name" in the filer after an Extended Directory operation was very satisfying!
  4. Hi, Videofx. I set out to re-learn Pascal a little over a year ago. I broke the problem down into two parts. The first part of the problem are Pascal basics: conventions, structures, etc. To do that, I bought a used copy of the text I used at university, Oh! Pascal! It's quirky, but I liked it in the 1980s, and I like it today. You can also look through the USUS library disks for example code. I also found it useful to explore the turtlegraphics code. apersson850 created a package a long time ago that largely works, and I posted about my experience getting it to work somewhere in Atariage. You may find the same a useful exercise as you get familiar with the environment. The second part of the problem are the TI extensions, things like Sprites and what not. The TI documentation (in the PDFs in the TI development resources) is pretty good. Supplement that with your own trial and error, and the occasional question to the Atariage forum, and you should be just fine. I find Pascal to be a fun and satisfying language. I hope you find it so as well.
  5. I always enjoy your posts because you make me realize there is so much I am not doing that I could be, and therefore I have that much more to learn. UCSD Pascal is an operating system, and I do not know it very well in this regard. I have started another small game project on Pascal. I want to harvest from last year's project (chemin-de-fer), but the combined codebases will exceed a single disk. At some point, it would be nice to have common code units for things like screen i/o so that they could be distilled to a single disk. But that is a big refactoring project and for now I want to work on a small refactoring project. It would be a convenience to have a fourth floppy drive. I've never tried this before. Are you modifying SYSTEM.MISCINFO to do this? Is that in the p-code firmware? I'm curious to know anything you can share about modifying that (or other) OS files.
  6. Welcome to the small but dedicated p-code community. There is a collection of useful p-code disk images on whtech. This directory contains Pascal programming disk images as well as TI-Pilot and the Freeform spreadsheet. There is another directory on whtech with some other Pascal related resources. And don't forget to look at the TI Development Resources page in Atariage. If you didn't get the manuals, you can get them in PDF format here. I use a combination of 705.dsk and 712a.dsk as my boot disk. It has both the Filer and Editor on it, as well as some other useful utilities such as a character set mapping for true lower case characters, and a utility for changing the default screen colors. These are modest but nice touches for customizing your programming environment. If you have just the standard disk drives from TI, boot the Filer disk. I do most of my development using Classic 99. I use a modified version of 712a in drive 1 (#4:), the standard Pascal compiler disk in drive 2 (#5:), and my work disk in drive 3 (#9:). This works very efficiently. Again, welcome to the p-code community.
  7. These are interesting. I loaded these as user carts in Classic99 and got the following menu options: 1 FOR TI BASIC 2 FOR PASCAL TIBUG 3 FOR PASCAL DOWNLOADER 4 FOR PASCAL BOOT LOADER (Sorry for not posting an image, Atariage and my browser are not cooperating just now.) No idea what these are, or what the system requirements are to run them, or what the right configuration is for them. But they are certainly something fun to investigate as they appear to be UCSD Pascal goodies on a cartridge. I know that over the years, there have been posts in Atariage about p-code implemented as a cart. Perhaps this is it? Or what somebody suspected it might be? Best regards, R.
  8. I bought mine a little over a year ago for $179.95. At the time, it seemed oddly precise. Some time later, flipping through some old 99'er magazines or product catalogs or something, I realized that was the list price for it new in 1984 or so. Apropos.
  9. It's an old HP laptop (vintage 2011) that I pulled out of the scratched-and-dented pile. It's not a development machine. One day a few years ago I found myself running Classic 99 and it just became one. I'll give it a try on my work laptop (vintage 2017) to compare the numbers.
  10. I used the -bench 20 setting as you suggested. With the hx5102 the results were 51%, 54% and 55% on multiple runs. Without, they were 80%, 81% and 82%. So I'm nowhere close to 100%. I'll look at the MAME configuration options to figure out if I can allocate more resources to it while it is running.
  11. @tursi You wrote this infinitely more eloquently - not to mention accurately! - than I could have. This is how I understand it. The p-system is a virtual machine from which things like the JVM are modeled. The JVM is a soft implementation while the p-system is a hard implementation, in that it is encoded onto ROMs. We take it for granted now, but RAM was expensive way back when.
  12. Not at all. I'm just some goofball screwing around with the 99/8 p-system to re-work a software development project I first did in the early 1980s. What I am doing pales in comparison to the sophistication and complexity of emulating a machine that never made it out of the prototype phase. Any comments I have about things like "performance" have to be taken in this light. If I'm not sure why it is slow, I want you to know that I mean no disrespect, nor am I being critical of MAME. I'll try the command line setting you suggested. Enjoy your holiday. Years ago, I went on vacation to Ireland with my family while I was in the middle of a very stressful program rescue (the vacation was on the books before I was asked to take on the rescue). 48 hours in, we're at a national park that was a medieval walled village castle property somewhere outside of Galway, and it was among the most peaceful experiences I have ever had. Nobody there but my family and the person handling admission. Before the week was out, I realized that driving on rural Irish roads was more exciting than any video game I have ever played. It wasn't reckless or aggressive. It was just fun. Best regards, R.
  13. This MAME project is a fantastic feat of engineering. A lot of people in the community benefit from what you do, so thank you. Having 2 drives makes things infinitely easier: it very much appears that the engineers behind the p-system implementation on the TI assumed the user had at least 2 disk drives. That informed a lot of use cases, testing, etc. So thank you for figuring out two drives on the hexbus. I was able to launch MAME, boot into the p-system, and run my little card game program. And, it works. But the p-code emulation appears to be slower on the 99/8 than it is on the 99/4A. I am not sure why. May be a setting on my configuration, may be the nature of the p-system architecture. I did try going into the set speed option, just to see if there was any difference, and there was none. It may not be unreasonable to expect no better performance in Pascal on the 99/8 versus the 99/4A. As I understand it, booting into the p-system is effectively bypassing the TI CPU in favor of the p-system. If that is true, the faster 9995 would be of no benefit except for assembly language routines. I also haven't looked into the chipset supporting the p-system, but if it was only marginally different, and if it was the primary chipset, it probably wouldn't perform any differently. That said, I am using the 99/4 Pascal diskettes (supporting version IV.0) as I don't have an image of the 99/8 disks (which support IV.12). Perhaps that makes a difference, perhaps not. Again, this is not a complaint: the 99/8 emulation works in all its different forms, which is an amazing thing. And I am a user base of one (Pascal + 99/8 == very small community) so this is not a priority. But if it is reasonable to expect faster performance on the p-system on the 99/8, let me know if there are any configuration things I should investigate. Best regards, R.
  14. I'd choose Python. Versus Java: This utility will be, what, 5k? 10k, tops? So why require a 125mb JRE to run a 10k function? Sledgehammer, thumbtack. Versus C++: Python code is easier for humans to read. My two cents.
  15. Great news that you were able to add a second drive. Is this implemented in the current release? I gave it a try, but get Error: unknown option: -hexbus:hx5102:d1
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