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eightbit

Dark side of the spoon demo question

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I have always been a demo guy, and many years ago I was really impressed with the "Dark side of the spoon" demo by UMR. I cannot recall what type of ST I ran that on though....I think it was a 1040STfm. 

 

Anyway, I haven't had an ST machine in at least 8 or more years and recently obtained one again. It is a 520STe that had been rebadged to a "4160STe"...probably because it has 4MB of ram installed. I tried this demo on it and while the initial "Please Wait" screen popped up just fine, the screen immediately afterward is just all jacked up and it goes no further from what I can tell.

 

Is this demo an ST only demo (ie: non STe)? Or is it a RAM thing (too much RAM?). And, if it is an STe compatibility issue is there a patched version that does work?

 

I'd really like to run it again on the hardware. That demo was pretty darn cool!

 

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It works with STE and with 4 MB.

Most likely it is floppy problem - unreliable reading, and since it goes not via TOS you will not get message. So, try with another disk. Version at atarimania is OK.

 

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No, still the same. I had to convert the .msa image to .st as the flashfloppy firmware I have flashed to the gotek only supports .st images. It boots but it actually looks like the demo is going in very slow motion. The "please wait" screen is fine, and if I press reset on the ST I see the final credit screen fine. But the rest is flickering like crazy and going in super slow motion.

 

I wonder if this is a 50hz issue with my display. However this display I am using works fine with a 50hz PAL Amiga unit so I don't believe that is the issue.

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7 hours ago, snarkdluG said:

It's the overscan thats f**ks up on STe. There is a patched version here. I think it works on STe. A lot of other classics in that zip. You can also check out a web based version

 

They are called ULM (Unlimited Matricks) by the way... 😉

 

 

I have no idea why but I did not see your post earlier! I will try these, thank you!

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I tested on my Mega STE - instead scroll there is mess on screen. So tested patched version - and same. So, that patch is for something else, it seems. I don't think that it fails only on Mega STE. And video part is same on both. 

So, the problem is that Atarimania says that it is ST, STE . + works with Hatari in STE mode too. Probably some really special HW trick to get that good scroll.

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Thanks for testing. It sounds like you run into the same problem on your Mega STE. Really odd. I can hit spacebar on the first "Messy" screen and see that the demo progresses...but the screen just flips and goes out of sync.

 

Are you sure the Atarimania version is the same as the patched version previously linked? They are not the same type (patched version is an ST file, Atarimania version is an MSA file). 

 

Now I can't wait to get home and try myself!

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Works here on a real STe with 4Mb and TOS 2.06. Ran it from Gotek. Fullscreen is not scrambled. Tried it on Hatari and emulated a STe with 4Mb. Works as well.

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29 minutes ago, snarkdluG said:

Works here on a real STe with 4Mb and TOS 2.06. Ran it from Gotek. Fullscreen is not scrambled. Tried it on Hatari and emulated a STe with 4Mb. Works as well.

 

 

Thanks for testing. I will certainly try this as soon as I get home. I am not sure which TOS version is on mine.

Edited by eightbit

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Nope, same thing on mine. Maybe it is the TOS version? Aside from opening the machine is there any software that will tell me what TOS version I am running? Also, is there any software that will perform an extensive RAM test (just to put my mind that RAM is OK?)

 

And, I only have the ability (for the moment until my UltraSatan arrives) to run .ST disk images. If any of these programs are PRG format is there an easy way to "inject" them into a blank .ST file so that I can launch them from the Gotek?

 

Any help is of course greatly appreciated!

 

 

EDIT: With a little digging around I found that the HxC software allows me to create a 720K .st image and inject PRG files, and I found sysinfo will show me the TOS version and other useful info. I have created an image and will try this tomorrow in order to check the TOS version on this. 

 

If anyone knows a nice ram tester that I can add to this image that would be cool!

Edited by eightbit

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Well, I answered another question of mine and found YAART ram tester. I will try both this and sysinfo tomorrow. But I fear the only way I will ever see this demo is through youtube and not on real hardware....or at least I suspect.

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TOS version matters not with this. I tried different ones in emulators. And with 2 TOS versions in Mega STE. And don't think that it is RAM problem.

Only 2 explanations left: 1: because using some very special HW trick possible that works not on all revisions of STE

2: There is some minor HW problem with 8bit STE, most SW work flawless, some rare, special not.

 

Finally, I don't think that this is some super, way above others demo. Scroll is nice, but we seen many with good one. Actually, what would be interesting is to check some other scroll demos and see which work, which not on that 'problematic' STE and Mega STE .

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I agree. I plan on testing a slew of demos on this in the near future. Thank you all again for your responses!

 

By the way, if it makes any difference, sysinfo shows this machine as a 1040 STe with TOS 1.06 and 4MB of RAM.

Edited by eightbit

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5 hours ago, eightbit said:

I agree. I plan on testing a slew of demos on this in the near future. Thank you all again for your responses!

 

By the way, if it makes any difference, sysinfo shows this machine as a 1040 STe with TOS 1.06 and 4MB of RAM.

The patched image will work on STe but not Mega-STe. I'm sure you need 4 extra nops per scanline on the MSTe to make the overscan stable.

 

Grz

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3 hours ago, Grazey said:

The patched image will work on STe but not Mega-STe. I'm sure you need 4 extra nops per scanline on the MSTe to make the overscan stable.

 

Grz

 

 

Well, the patched version definitely does not work properly on my STe ;)

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I don't know if it matters, but you have an USA STE?

The timing needed for the used tricks for like overscan/syncscroll might be different although I assume they (demo makers) set your machine in 50Hz.

 

Gunstick: One of the makers of this demo is active on Atari-forum.com maybe he can tell you more..

In this topic he and others are discussing how to improve these kind of techniques: http://www.atari-forum.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=29578&hilit=gunstick&start=100

 

Edited by Ayreon

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It's not about setting to 50 Hz - that can do with any ST, STE. US (NTSC) versions have slightly different main clock 32 MHz, and with that CPU and video clock delivered from it is diff. too.

So, that could be the reason. But my Mega STE is German v. by origin. There is some diff in blitter timing (not used here), and may be some other ..

Demos are evil 🙂

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ah yeah that's what I meant, but my decaying brain cells kinda thought, until your reminder, that with setting it to 50 Hz the clock speed also changed. Anyhow that is the main culprit. I don't think that at that time, anybody thought about someone watching demo's in the US or any other nation with 60 HZ electrical power source.

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Tested a bit in Hatari and MegaSTe in 16Mhz the fullscreen stuff is just garbage as said previously. However, the demo runs fine on a MegaSTe in 8Mhz (emulated in Hatari). But I don't know if you can force a MegaSTe into 8Mhz with some jumpers on the motherboard? Irrelevant for the OP of course.

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I am suspecting (my theory) that this is happening on my end because there is something with how this demo is running that my TV does not like. I am using a RGB SCART cable for the STe going to an RGB2COMP and then to the TV. This works fine however on my PAL Amiga and ZX SPectrum Harlequin (also PAL) and the TV does report and support 50Hz. But, the way it is running (like in slow motion, loosing video sync, flashing) seems to indicate some kind of TV display sync issue to me. 

 

For all I know it will be fine on a Atari monitor....but alas I do not have one. Maybe I will try an OSSC with the SCART down the road as well as an alternate TV.

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9 hours ago, eightbit said:

I am suspecting (my theory) that this is happening on my end because there is something with how this demo is running that my TV does not like. I am using a RGB SCART cable for the STe going to an RGB2COMP and then to the TV. This works fine however on my PAL Amiga and ZX SPectrum Harlequin (also PAL) and the TV does report and support 50Hz. But, the way it is running (like in slow motion, loosing video sync, flashing) seems to indicate some kind of TV display sync issue to me.

Yes, this could be some issue with newer digital monitor/TV. Can you make some photo(s) of display when demo is in scrolling overscan ?

Overscan works by changing framerate from 50 to 60 Hz at every line, and it may cause mentioned issues. It is mostly 50 Hz, but not 100% exact.

Other thing is that I experienced periodical losing pic. on my Philips TV with Scart input - when V-sync line was connected to RGB switch line (according to old scheme). Solved with putting there constant 12 V via resistor.  I say this because doing composite sync in that RGB2COMP maybe can be done better.  Btw. : why RGB2COMP - your STE has composite output. TV does not work with NTSC composite ? Or at 50 Hz loses colors ? 

I'm not sure that OSSC will be fine with this - unless someone confirms that works. Alternate TV should have Scart input.

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My test with a real STe above was done thru a OSSC with a scart cable from the STe. Then hooked up to a BenQ 24" monitor. So OSSC works fine, at least on mine.

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