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potatohead

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Everything posted by potatohead

  1. Absolutely! With CNC turret punch machines, many of them but maybe not all, the macro and advanced feature pattern commands were powerful and lean. Hand optimized programs were sometimes a 10th of their original size! Smaller sometimes. I compared doing that to assembly language. Edit: punch had a big ROM. Only held a statement or two in RAM. Very enjoyable. I did quite a few once the company saw the outcome. Some of those machines ran right from the tape too. No internal memory. Optimized gcode brought them right up to speed with the more advanced ones with ample program space. In the case of that laser machine, the software broke curves into line segments even though it too had a full complement of built in macros and capabilities to make others. Very annoying. You are right though. I probably could have crunched it all down to 20K or something. But, was a one time, and I was making a point. Would have been brutal work though. Modern software is often not much better! Sadly, almost no one cares. Was nice to read of another person who does. . For anyone running older gear, those capabilities would still pay right off.
  2. Look at the photo. The stick plastic isn't even centered on the shaft! They really are craptastic. LMAO! I agree with both of you. One of the first things I did with my CoCo 3 was wire up some proper joysticks. I like the Apple ones, with the two buttons by one's thumb the best of the analog sticks. Same goes for the TI I had for a while. (got rid of that one and should have kept it. Had the full expansion box, the works, but was just not into the machine. Got it for a song in the 90's, let it go for one to someone who would use it some... Usually, on digital machines, I'll wire a SEGA pad, or Atari style joystick and go from there, depending on whether having buttons matters.
  3. Now that I see the Altair, yeah. I wish I had explored the pre Apple, PET, TRS-80 machines. I did, because of work, get good at paper tape and have any of you used a TEK storage tube computer? Those were a lot of fun, ran a super cool BASIC on a 6800 processor. Paper tape and mag tape carts were common storage. Anyway, I got a pass at that era, S100, Altair, others, and would have and still would give it all a go today.
  4. I wanted to try the BBC Micro. Not sure I will now, but the machine was very attractive back then.
  5. I bought an Atari 400 for gaming and learning about computers at home. It eventually got a real keyboard and 48K of RAM. Followed that up with an 800XL for the same purposes. I bought an Apple2 to get work done and game on it. The feel of all bitmaps games is different than machines using sprites. I liked gaming on both machines for very different reasons. Both machines ended up hooked to various electronics projects. I preferred the 400 for having 4 game ports with bi directional I/O. For bigger projects, I preferred the Apple for an 80 column display and fast storage and ability to get lots of RAM. Somewhere in there, I bought a CoCo3 just to program on the 6809. I did not use this machine to potential only ever having cassette on it.
  6. Actually the VIC 20 might look good. It does one pixel per NTSC color cycle. Most of those screens will just make a pixel out of that and display it. 20 column text won't seem all that tiny on one of those displays. For a few years, I ran my 800xl on a 5" portable TV. CRT was nice and sharp. Just tiny. Older eyes won't appreciate that, but younger ones will roll just fine. Mine did. .
  7. I got about 170k on a full roll. Was for a CNC laser they refused to let me network or put a PC next to. They did not understand how much more gcode was going to the machine than they typically sent to punching machines.
  8. Try CALL -151 [enter] D000L [enter] That will launch the monitor and disassemble memory starting at $D000 From there, you need to start reading up on tools to examine machine code. It is a non trivial task.
  9. http://www.kreativekorp.com/miscpages/a2info/memorymap.shtml
  10. https://github.com/Michaelangel007/dcc6502 That will disassemble large programs. There are other tools out there. In general, reverse engineering is best done on a modern environment. You get the code into a binary file and begin to pick it apart. The Apple 2 will disassemble with its built in monitor too: http://wiki.apple2.org/index.php?title=System_Monitor Way back in the day, loading things into memory and looking at them with the monitor is how many people would begin the task you are. In general, you have a nice hint with the table info you have. I would start by looking at jumps. Program flow. You can map a lot of it that way. Then keep parsing. The Apple soft switches are good too. Searching for access to them may reveal initial code, for example.
  11. Just a bit of self deprecating humor. Myself included. Carry on please.
  12. Interesting observation. In my circles, gaming does go up when times get lean. And we have Covid right now too. Bonus!
  13. Well, mine has not changed since I did the bad chip work around. Just played it a few weeks ago. LOL, pretty much a decade has gone by. You are probably good.
  14. No worries here. The storm will pass. That is the only response from me on that mess anyone will see.
  15. Of course it works that way. I am not going to debate objective realities with you. That's silly. What I did was state facts and connect them to some current trends. I did not make judgements about people or policy. Just our current state, who is impacted, what that might mean related to gaming and mobile. That judgement part was all you, and the thing I suggested you might consider not doing. Debating your judgements related to those facts is the silly part, just for those following along at home. Clearly you have some need to challenge objective reality. I don't. Twitter, no twitter, all the same. You do you boo.
  16. Just to be clear, I was talking about paper tape and loading a file from it onto the filesystem. Loading it to be directly executed is likely possible, but that isn't what I did at the time. I actually used the system to handle CNC programs. Write tapes, read edit, write new ones, and the very occasional "append", which was literally taping a segment to the end of an already written tape! Usually after trimming some portion of it in advance. Also did some actual patches! So a tape gets mangled. One could read it, look at a printed program listing, or perhaps production drawing, to figure out what used to be in the mangled part, or what could work. Literally, trim the tape to get two clean ends, load it into a machine, tape up a blank portion, then press punches to write that bit, one bit at a time! Old school as hell. Loved it. I was 19'ish at the time.
  17. Right? That is an amazing example! I have many in my life under 35. Part of my particular work niche right now. And it's cool. Though I am the old guy, I get a lot of help being relevant. Got younger blood to hang with and its fun. Until Covid, I did a few years of travel. All over the US and abroad a time or two. Most of it being business, I could find a coffee shop, bar, club, whatever, show up and just talk to people. Really got a lot out of it frankly. Now I don't miss it one bit. That kind of thing is high value, but is also a grind. Ugh. But, I am glad to have gotten a nice sample of things across a broad demographic. Boomers to boomers, low and upper percenters, pros, working joe bag of doughnuts.
  18. Very highly debatable. I don't do that here. Reasons. Good ones. Consider doing the same. Now, moving back to the topic at hand. Demographics? All over the place. Candy Crush and similar casual gaming is high percentage across the board. More complex gaming trends younger, bigger percentages under 35. Here's another reality: For the vast majority of people, monthly entertainment dollars are largely fixed. For many, it can vary some, but overall does not swing by huge amounts. Larger purchases tend to be tradeoffs. Buy a new game, skip a movie, etc... **This is also why infringement and second sale remains a thing in all forms. Password sharing, torrents, media swapping, used media. Many can't/won't pay, but mindshare and friend to friend recs and shared experiences have real value. Not judging here. Right, wrong, don't care. Just stating real dynamics related to mobile and entertainment in general. Dropbox did for movies what mobile does for gaming. Both are pulling revenue into entertainment, and competing with what I just call mooching to make it easy. Remember "fits on a credit card" for sales? Think, "trade for a Rockstar or Latte" and it plays out the same. The various forms of entertainment compete. Ask any cord cutter. I am one, and make different entertainment choices today than I did with a typical cable TV bill Pay to play can nudge those dollars upward as small amounts can mean tradeoffs easily made, done and lived with. Say blow a little on a game, skip that energy drink... low friction purchases, small ones, bend overall entertainment dollars up. Mobile is a legit net gain where gaming competes dollars away from other things rather than just moving share around. (Who gets how much of what there is to get) The entertainment dollars get spent each month too. Work hours are trending upward too. Fitting entertainment in works great on mobile. For every younger gamer dropping for spiffs on mobile, you can find working professionals doing the same thing! They have very similar reasons despite being in different places socioeconomically. Trends higher under 45, much, much higher under 30.
  19. The lowest clock I ever saw play respectable MP3 files (128, 192, 256kbps) was an SGI Indigo running at 30Mhz. 8 stage pipeline processor. Bad ass for the time, and $$$$ out the wazoo too. For what it's worth, compiling "amp"https://www.rarewares.org/rrw/amp.php on low end machines to play MP3.
  20. And then when one multiplies potential profit against risk*competing products? It's dismal, unless one has a new niche, or social media type viral boost help, or a legit home run. I know some pro game dev guys who have put serious effort into mobile several times. There is an initial flurry of downloads, and some percentage of those buy, or pay to play. Most don't, or will on occasion. After that initial, "hey it's new, try it" bump, everything after that is a long grind with diminishing returns. Because of this, it makes a lot more sense to develop multiple more shallow apps, get very broad appeal, make them sexy and addictive, tie in to some pop culture where possible, and build an income off the long tail of casual players willing to view an AD, or pay to play. Wash, rinse, repeat for every small revenue boost, and wash again when someone else clones your stuff, and again as it all kind of fades... The product of that today is a free sea of shitty games with some real gems mixed in there. Many people are looking to play what their friends play too, because sorting through it, or not having a shared experience isn't worth it. This all favors established players and those who have social media / culture tie-ins. And here in the USA a surprising number of people are mobile only, maybe console too, and if they have a console, it's an older one, types. Numbers on that are growing as basically flat wages up against diminishing higher wage jobs get backfilled with minimal wage type jobs. Zoomers are particularly impacted right now and things like Covid aren't helping. (Let's not go political. Those are just socio economic realities in play right now that do affect gaming.) Mobile is cheap ass when one looks at overall spends for a month, and the phone is multi-purpose. An increasing number of people in my circle get whatever high data, unlimited plan they can find, and use their mobile for basically everything. Attach it to the TV for viewing, game on it where ever, do Internet, pay bills, stay in touch on social media, the whole nine. Mobile is a damn tough place to make a living right now, unless one has some cred, or other tie in as I mentioned above.
  21. Like software Xmas! Maybe it's possible to do it again. At some point, there will be people coming into retro without as much context. Giving it to them, handful of programs at a time might work in a way similar to how it worked originally.
  22. I never subscribed and feel I should have. Seems like overall good experience. Each month, period, the new stuff shows up. That's nice. For me, I was either saving up money from odd jobs to buy the few programs I really wanted, or copy parties and those were mostly games.
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