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About wierd_w

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  1. the approach I would investigate first, is creative use of mirrored, or rotated data in the sprite definitions, to get "not easily noticed" edits of the graphic data, so that repetition/consolidation of the data can be increased. Or, with realtime reconstruction of such patterns using bitwise manipuation to composite the needed data from a smaller subset of components. (4 unique glyphs can produce at least 64 composites, using just 2 of the 4 for each operation, assuming rotation and mirroring are permitted) Such tricks are used to create tight tilesets for resource constrained systems, like the NES. (or at least, the sprite artists keep these kinds of things in mind; sprite-reuse in clever ways.) The F18A has access to GPU function that could do bitwise stuff, iirc-- so it makes sense to try to make use of it.
  2. I have a TPDD (actually its predecessor, an FB100 from Brother. The only difference, aside from the unpopulated DIP switch vias, are the colors and branding) that I would like to test the functionality of. It has recently been serviced with a new drive belt and some safe lubricant to the read head's worm gear and slide rail. The intended use case is on a Brother knitting machine. About the only thing the knitting machine seems capable of doing, is sending the format command to the drive, which 'appears' to complete. Running the operation with the top cover off has the head park at the innermost track after activity ceases. Is this normal? I have a 3.3v TTL to USB cable, but attempts to connect it (TX->RX, RX->TX, CTS->RTS, RTS->CTS, GND<->GND) have not been fruitful, even after setting port speed to the painfully slow hard-jumpered (the FB100 does not have a DIP switch populated where the TPDD does, and instead has a solder bridge, locking the drive in 9600baud mode. Since the drive is going to live on a knitting machine like it was intended for, I do not consider this a problem) setting. I have since learned that this drive uses 5v logic. I was wondering if a 5v FTDI cable would be suitable?
  3. I dug out my ftdi serial cable and attempted to connect to the floppy drive. No dice. Apparently my cable is 3.3v TTL levels, and the drive uses 5v levels. The cable is 5v tolerant, but does not output levels high enough to drive the floppy drive's electronics. I will wait for march 6th or so. I ordered a US power cord for the knitting machine, that is manufactured by OEM on Ebay. I will eliminate one bit of potential mishap with that, and see if diskette operation improves.
  4. Well, after a LENGTHLY delay in shipping, I finally got my belt yesterday. Installed it. Greased up the head-sled assembly. All that jazz. I am suspecting that the data cable has connectivity issues; While the command to format the diskette is handled completely by the diskette drive itself, it acts like the drive is not transmitting data back to the knitting machine. The machine itself gives very little in the way of diagnostic info, so I am curious. I believe I have an RS323c USB cable (for accessing the serial console on embedded devices) that I could attach to the pins on the back of the FB100, and then issue some commands to it to ensure it is healthy. The knitting machine is able to initiate the format, and the drive does the process, but the knitting machine computer never reaches "ready" status after working with the drive. It is possible that my travel power adapter is not quite giving appropriate power, (Knitting machine is a UK version that wants 220v) despite it clearly saying on it that it outputs 220v. It could be that the cable is bad. Could be that the computer in the knitting machine is a bit daft, who knows. But, the drive spins and the head sled moves. Internally, the format command completes, so clearly it is able to read and make use of the medium. (it could not complete its format routine if there was a problem with reading or writing.) It will go on the back burner. (But it sure would be fun to make use of the knitting machine to make some 2-color dust covers for people that want them. It's a full length bed, so I could easily knit a fancy image-bearing piece with it pretty quickly, ASSUMING I can get data into the silly thing! I guess I will test out the mylar pattern reader. I have a thermal laminator that I can abuse for this purpose, by using a sharpie marker INSIDE an empty lamination pouch, then running it through. That should let me make suitable mylar patterns, but that is not nearly as convenient as having them on a diskette.)
  5. I think very early laserjets ( like laserjet II and III) could do it.. dont quote me on that, I would have to double check, but I seem to recall them being able to do a subset of the epson codepage.
  6. *has an old HP pen plotter-- It does not care how thick the paper is, only how wide the paper is* I have modified the housing (by cutting a channel in it) so that I can use tall, disposable felt-tip pens in it (with a 3D printed pen holder). You have to use something like inkscape with it, and tell it to plot it-- but it will totally draw with the pen you have selected, and draw line art on cardstock. Makes for a very interesting effect. (It is kind of a shame to desecrate such a device in this way, but finding the pens is impossible.) (not my video, btw. I just did the same thing, and designed MY OWN collet) Those plotters are serial based, and use an RS232 connection. They speak a printer language called HPGL, which is kinda-sorta similar to post-script. It defines strokes, lines, and curves. They CAN be used on a windows computer using a USB->Serial cable, and a buyware driver. In theory, with that setup, you can print even from MSWord if you want. Just be aware that it is NOT a raster printer, and cannot print jpegs and stuff. It can only do vectors.
  7. ... Format a diskette using the floppy formatting cartridge?
  8. He means that the badge image can often be wholly replaced, by dumping the system flashrom, and then overwriting the image data, the flashing it back again.
  9. Yeah, we had a similar shift here. Not quite shorts and tshirt weather yet, but getting close. In other news, I decided to look inside my FB100, even though I have not gotten the replacement belt yet. OH YEAH. that belt needs replacing. It has lost all of its elasticity, and literally just FELL off the capstan. I tugged it with my fingers, and it stretched but did not recoil at all. It feels somewhat gummy too. I am fairly confident that this is the source of my sorrows. The order status says shipped, so I should probably get it by monday or tuesday.
  10. (muses impotently about a "fully-discrete, but humongous" F18A implementation) There's a surprising amount of room.. Especially if you route it out the sideport like the oldskool 80col card. A fully discrete F18A-as-sidecar (and thus, remove the dependence on the EOL FPGA) would be interesting, if hyper niche.
  11. "run" and playable are not the same thing. Sure, you can make the viewport the smallest size allowable, and the game will stutter when more than 2 voices play... but yeah. Maybe if it was a 386 DX 33, with a really nice video card...
  12. My drive arrived today, and I tried to play with it. I can hear the drive motor engage when I instruct the knitting machine to format the diskette, but do not hear the media turning. Also, do not hear the head advance. Since the belt is a known source of failure for these drives, I have ordered one from your store. I will also pick up some white grease lubricant for the head sled.
  13. There is sufficient clearance in there. This is not 'close quarters', it is more "earth wall basement".
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