Let’s Code MS DOS 0x1C: The Dweezil Fractal Zoomer

Back in 1993 two Finnish demoscene coders by the names of Dweezil and Tsunami came up (probably independently?) with a graphical effect that became known as the infinite fractal zoomer. Sometims it’s also called the Dweezil zoomer. The Linux xscreensaver knows it by the name of Kumppa. It is a clever and simple algorithm which allows even pretty slow machines to do an impressive infinite rotating zoom. Today I will talk you through the algorithm and we will do the actual implementation in Turbo C, using VGA 320×200 and 256 colors.

Learning SMD Soldering – With LEDs!

I love those little SMD soldering kits for practicing manual surface mount component soldering. They are only 2-3 EUR each and you can practice your skills before you try and repair you precious vintage hardware or broken modern console or laptop. This time I got a nice kit from a Chinese seller which includes (Chinese) instructions and actually can be tested without a testing harness, simply by looking at the LEDs. So let’s do some soldering!

Upgrading the Commodore PET for “Attack of the Petscii Robots”

For Christmas I got a surprise: a 1979 Commodore PET 3016. This is the predecessor of the VIC20 and C64 and comes stock with 16 KiB of RAM. Last year Dave Murray, better known as the 8bitguy, announced a brand new game for the PET, called: Attack of the Petscii Robots. So this was a lucky coincidence! I ordered a boxed copy of the game and also ordered a PCB and parts to build a 32 KiB RAM expansion for the PET. I showed the soldering and assembly of the expansion in a previous livestream. However we still need to install and test drive both the PET and the game! So that’s what we’ll do today.

MegaDrive Megademo: Overdrive 2 by Titan

Not only the Amiga has an active demoscene! The SEGA MegaDrive (also known as the SEGA Genesis in other countries) has seen some magnificient productions over the last years. Let’s have a look at Titan’s Overdrive 2 Megademo. It is amazing what the coders were able to get out of this late 80s, 64KB tiny machine.

My 2nd Most Favorite Amiga Demo

The other day I published a video about The Electronic Knight’s new demo called “Hologon”. It seemed that a lot of people liked that video. So I want to show another of my most favorite Amiga OCS demos. This time it’s EON by Black Lotus. There are not terrible many new effects, but everything is highly polished, making this demo a true piece of art.

Playing Game Music without a PC: The Roland SB55

Roland produced a number of SoundCanvas and related products. The SoundCanvas 55 came with an optional device called the SoundBrush 55. This was a floppy based MIDI recorder and player. Musicians could use it to either play back MIDI files or alternatively to record their performances. We will of course use the device to play back video game music without the need of a PC! I will have a look inside this device, which is well over 25 years old and also will hook it up to my SC55 and the MT32.

Pimping the C64

A good friend of the channel by the name of matze79 supplied me with a rather cheap C64G. As I didn’t own a C64 at the moment, this was an excellent opportunity. The poort little C64 came with two missing keys, which were fixed by 3D printed replacements. While this looks interesting and is impressive in its own right, I wanted a more long lasting fix. The C64 was also missing its SID chip and came with a nice little SwinSID. But again, we have some better replacement on hand! So let’s open up the machine, fix those things and enjoy the fantastic world of programs the C64 has to offer!

Let’s Code MS DOS 0x17: Come On Let’s Twist

One ubiquitous demo effect that can be seen on a wide variety of demos and intros is the twister or the twister bar. There are numerous examples in productions for the Amiga, Atari ST and 2600 that I know of (and even at least one on the Sega Master System). And probably a lot more that I don’t know. However I have never seen this effect in any of the old PC demos, except maybe in Future Crew’s PANIC, where something very similar was used for the vertical scrolling greetings. But it was not quite the same still. So today we will code a variant of the twister using Turbo C for MS DOS!

Retro Burner: Refurbishing and Retrobriting the Galep III

I got an old Galep-III universal EPROM programmer from a friend. He couldn’t get the device to work under Windows 10, since it is quite old and uses the parallel port. This device is perfect for my 486! And since I just finished assembling an XT CF Lite card, I needed something to write its EEPROM with.
The device looks a bit aged, due to dirt and severe yellowing, so we will clean it and retrobrite it, to make it look like new. This is only my second attempt (after an experiment with my serial mouse), so let’s hope for the best!

Let’s Code ESP8266: The SI7021 Temperature and Humidity Sensor

The SiliconLabs SI7021 is a very popular sensor for measuring temperature and humidity. It uses the I2C bus and is easily accessed from the ESP9266 or ESP32. Some breakout boards use different variants of the chip, namely the measurement Specialties HTU21D or even the Sensirion SHT21. These chips are more or less compatible to one another, but some don’t implement all the commands. However temperature and humidity can be used on all those chips. Today I’ll walk you through a tutorial of accessing the SI7021 via the Arduino Wire library.