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Classic99 Updates

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1 hour ago, 1980gamer said:

The steps got smaller...  8088 to 386 to 486/66 to pentium pro 100 to PII 233 to P4  etc.... At least that is my perception.  The reality I am sure it different.

Exception: The step from spinning disks to SSD.  Biggest upgrade EVAR!  

 

I also had a cranky portable B&W TV in '82-'83. Upon seeing the 4a in color I was dismayed by the color bleeding - not visible on a B&W TV, which was much more crisp. So I stuck with B&W. Even now, bereft an F18a, I have the color on my flat screen monitor turned WAY down, almost to B&W, to get that crispness. 

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2 minutes ago, Reciprocating Bill said:

Exception: The step from spinning disks to SSD.  Biggest upgrade EVAR!  

Only if you do IO intensive work...  So, yes, you are correct!

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Well done background noise, it definitely matches up well with the original! That said, I probably won't be enabling it. :)

 

I've yet to see an emulator perfectly render the classic NTSC style of image, but that may not be possible to do. For one thing, to be truly accurate it should be projected on a curved surface, like a classic CRT monitor.

 

Also, as someone who went crazy a few years ago and bought a TON of Magnavox monitors, every single one is slightly different. So opinions on the "perfect" rendering will widely vary as well.

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31 minutes ago, adamantyr said:

I've yet to see an emulator perfectly render the classic NTSC style of image, but that may not be possible to do. For one thing, to be truly accurate it should be projected on a curved surface, like a classic CRT monitor.

Challenging the curved assertion: the NTSC signal is not curved, just most display devices.  At the very least Trinitron flat-screens were a thing.

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1 hour ago, adamantyr said:

I've yet to see an emulator perfectly render the classic NTSC style of image, but that may not be possible to do. For one thing, to be truly accurate it should be projected on a curved surface, like a classic CRT monitor.

Problem here is that most all filters are post-processed and subtractive. They totally suck at sharp corners like in the ASCII character "L" for example. The bend has a rounded look, not a bloom and bleed additive look. Among the worst are those hq4x, 2xSaI, Super 2xSaI, and that Super Eagle shit. They all look rounded in the wrong places. None and TV Mode look reasonably good - similar to what we lusted after back in the day when dreaming of high-quality futuristic displays.

 

To do this right, the emulator has to be programmed from the start with an intrinsic knowledge of how light adds together from adjacent pixels and scatterings, beginning from the phosphors through to the shadowmask and glass.

 

I've seen emulators come close. But since they take wrong approach they'll never get there. Currently the best course of action is to get used to the new look going forward till some breakthrough happens.

Edited by Keatah

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1 hour ago, OLD CS1 said:

Challenging the curved assertion: the NTSC signal is not curved, just most display devices.  At the very least Trinitron flat-screens were a thing.

Yes. First in one direction, vertically. Then later both horizontal and vertical. I remember looking through the schematics at that weird pump circuit to maintain some semblance of linearity. Kinda like swinging a pendulum close to the ground, and lifting it higher and lower to keep the same distance (to the ground) throughout its entire arc. Fun stuff. And varying its speed too!

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I made some test of Classic99 with a XB256 program in development.  I encountered two problems that, at this time for my usage, are blocking:

- The "CPU throttling" option is not really working. Tested with 2 PC, one embedding a Core i5 Gen4 3.3GHz and a NVIDIA GT740 graphic card and a Core i5 4.3 GHz Gen8 with a Quadro P400 for the second. I read that this option works for some other people, so I can consider that I'm not lucky.  "Normal" is very slow, Overdrive is better but it can't reproduce the speed of a compiled program, running it on a real TI-99/4A is faster. "Maximum" is slower and "CPU Slow" is unusable: often freeze the program.

- The layout of the keyboard is for US keyboard, with my french AZERTY one I have to juggle with the punctuation keys concordance.  That is considerably slow down the keystroke.

Are these points could be studded for a next upgrade? 🙂

 

 

Edited by fabrice montupet

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Hmm I think you have some issues as I am using Classic99 and I can run 8 sessions at same time in Overdrive and all are still 5 times faster then a TI.

I am running 32Meg of 3200Mhz DDR4 RAM, 2TB M2 SSD drive, Windows 10 Pro, and a Ryzen 9 AMD 3900X CPU 4.43Ghz on a X570 Asus Motherboard.

Also this is much slower them when I run same computer from my 1TB M2 SSD Drive using Ubuntu.

Of course can not run Classic99 from Linux.

Edited by RXB

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No issues on my computers. All of them work fine, I use them intensively for PCB conception and 3D apps, they are all optimized and equiped with SSD drives, 16GB RAM of one and 32GB for the other.  All drivers are regularly updated and certified. I am a computer technician for professionals since more than 30 years.  

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4 hours ago, fabrice montupet said:

I made some test of Classic99 with a XB256 program in development.  I encountered two problems that, at this time for my usage, are blocking:

- The "CPU throttling" option is not really working. Tested with 2 PC, one embedding a Core i5 Gen4 3.3GHz and a NVIDIA GT740 graphic card and a Core i5 4.3 GHz Gen8 with a Quadro P400 for the second. I read that this option works for some other people, so I can consider that I'm not lucky.  "Normal" is very slow, Overdrive is better but it can't reproduce the speed of a compiled program, running it on a real TI-99/4A is faster. "Maximum" is slower and "CPU Slow" is unusable: often freeze the program.

- The layout of the keyboard is for US keyboard, with my french AZERTY one I have to juggle with the punctuation keys concordance.  That is considerably slow down the keystroke.

Are these points could be studded for a next upgrade? 🙂

Classic99 has used the current timing system for over a decade, so I think we can assume it "usually" works. The question becomes why doesn't it work on your machine.

 

As always, I'll ask for the debug log - is there anything interesting in there? Since it's likely to scroll over just powering up, I would ask you to use debugview to capture it - https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/debugview

 

CPU Slow executes only about 100 instructions per frame. There's no reason to expect that you will see the program execute at that rate - it's for watching the debug window.

 

The keyboard layout update was requested more than a decade ago, unfortunately I don't have the information I need to do it. I thought that the mechanism I used (the Windows "virtual key" codes) would be universal, yet it's not. Unless you can provide some information that may help, there's not much I can do.

 

 

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Also worth opening Options->Options and making sure the CPU speed is set to 100%. There used to be issues where people found a way to get it stuck way low, which messes a lot of things up. (It's a pretty obsolete setting).

 

image.thumb.png.b5cc1872247521676cb9bec6f54bbbb2.png

 

If you are running 50hz mode under Video, try 60hz. 50hz gets almost no test time. I believe it works, but it's an unusual setting.

 

Also, please send me your Classic99.ini (privately if you like), so I can see if it reproduces on my machine with your settings. That has also happened before.

 

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1 hour ago, RickyDean said:

Of course you can, at least I have, using WINE. On Mac and Linux.

That is a option, but i personally just have a dedicated VM of Windows XP running under VirtualBox and run TIDIR, Classic99, CS1er etc., with a shared folder in my home directory to transfer TI files in and out of the VM.

Edited by jrhodes
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2 hours ago, RickyDean said:

Of course you can, at least I have, using WINE. On Mac and Linux.

Wine is a huge hit on performance running Classic99!

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6 hours ago, RXB said:

Wine is a huge hit on performance running Classic99!

I don't know what it's like now, Rich, but I did use to have Linux on an old laptop and used wine for Classic99.  All it seemed to be doing was providing a few API's that were needed for certain apps.  Wine isn't an emulator as such so I can't see the performance impact, however , the problem I did have was the Classic99 screen wouldn't update sometimes.  For example I would press FCTN QUIT and it would beep and quit but i'd still be looking at Parsec!  This was a Wine issue.  It might be worth me or someone else launching a dedicated thread for Wine & Classic99.  

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4 hours ago, mizapf said:

Wine Is Not an Emulator

 

(it is actually a reimplementation of the Windows syscalls)

Yea that is going to impact performance especially if you are running 8 Classic99 sessions at same time like I do.

All of them accessing the same disk list.

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@Tursi: 

Never mind for the The keyboard layout update, today I have installed a US Keyboard to use with Classic99. It doesn't replace a french layout but it's better than using a French keyboard, at least all the key caps displays the keys the emulator uses 🙂

About the emulator slowness in CPU Throttling option normal mode , the CPU tuning is always at 100%, changing the frequency (50Hz/60Hz) settings seem to have no effect.  I think the problem comes to your DirectX implementation: When I launch two Classic99 windows sessions, one using DIB and the other using DX, I notice that DIB offers a better speed (really not a lot but significance though). I continue to test.

I have noticed no DirectX issues with my other applications, they work fast, even better than OpenGL for some.

 

Edited by fabrice montupet
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I am running direct X version 11 latest version, so what are you running?

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1 hour ago, fabrice montupet said:

@Tursi: 

Never mind for the The keyboard layout update, today I have installed a US Keyboard to use with Classic99. It doesn't replace a french layout but it's better than using a French keyboard, at least all the key caps displays the keys the emulator uses 🙂

About the emulator slowness in CPU Throttling option normal mode , the CPU tuning is always at 100%, changing the frequency (50Hz/60Hz) settings seem to have no effect.  I think the problem comes to your DirectX implementation: When I launch two Classic99 windows sessions, one using DIB and the other using DX, I notice that DIB offers a better speed (really not a lot but significance though). I continue to test.

I have noticed no DirectX issues with my other applications, they work fast, even better than OpenGL for some.

 

Sorry about the keyboard.

 

Again, I need a debug log to do anything about the rest. :)

 

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18 hours ago, RXB said:

I am running direct X version 11 latest version, so what are you running?

As mentioned before, my PC computers are up to date, so they run DirectX 12.

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1 minute ago, fabrice montupet said:

As mentioned before, my PC computers are up to date, so they run DirectX 12.

May be a problem as that is a BETA!

Will not work with some games or applications.

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DirectX 12 has been launched in 2015, we are in 2021. I think that this version has passed enough time for stabilization and can be installed with confidence .  DX 12 works fine with all my other 3D/CAD/EDA applications, it offers significant improvement (rendering and speed 3D) compared to version 11 . And I never had to troubleshoot DX12 problem with my professional customers computers.
I can't say about games because I don't play games (none are installed in my Mac and PC computers) and I don't intervene on customers gaming/family computers.  The only games I play with (sometimes, really not often) are those of the 99/4A, just by nostalgia 🙂
I will test Classic99 on a spare Core i5 PC Gen10 running DX11 to see a difference. Out of curiosity.

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8 minutes ago, fabrice montupet said:

DirectX 12 has been launched in 2015, we are in 2021. I think that this version has passed enough time for stabilization and can be installed with confidence .  DX 12 works fine with all my other 3D/CAD/EDA applications, it offers significant improvement (rendering and speed 3D) compared to version 11 . And I never had to troubleshoot DX12 problem with my professional customers computers.
I can't say about games because I don't play games (none are installed in my Mac and PC computers) and I don't intervene on customers gaming/family computers.  The only games I play with (sometimes, really not often) are those of the 99/4A, just by nostalgia 🙂
I will test Classic99 on a spare Core i5 PC Gen10 running DX11 to see a difference. Out of curiosity.

and... a patient man lol

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