I got a question in the YouTube comments about the sine tables that we used for a few animations, like the Copper Bars, the Smooth Scrolling etc. In this episode I try to explain why and how to create sine tables. The idea is to speed up computations, since computing the sine or cosine — even with an FPU — takes an awfully long time on early MS DOS machines.
After the 1084S monitor, my Amiga 500 gets an external Gotek USB Floppy Drive emulator. To be able to boot from it, we install a DF0 switcher. Many demos and games on the Amiga can only be booted from the first floppy drive, DF0. The external drive is called DF1. With the switcher we can toggle the external drive to be either DF0 or DF1.
In this video I try to refurbish and repair an heirloom Gameboy Color from 1998. The buttons don’t respond well and the whole device is covered in dirt from almost 20 years of usage.
I acquired a Commodore 1084S CRT monitor. This is a pretty good, classic monitor for the Amiga and other systems. The device is already 28 years old, so it has some ageing problems. Namely the power switch will not stay locked in. I got myself a replacement part and will try to solder it in!
Ron Gilbert and friends surprised us this weekend with a free, new mini game from the Thimbleweed universe. Let’s have a look!
In the last live stream we did some Turbo C inline assembly, which was pretty fun. But let’s today use an actual pure assembler: the Borland Turbo Assembler. And let’s demystify some of the things surrounding assembly language. It is actually not that hard, so let’s write a hello world program, using assembly, for MS DOS!
Champ Games has delivered another quality homebrew title for the Atari 2600: Galagon. It’s a port of the arcade classic Galaga. Featuring pretty much 100% spot on enemies, playmodes, sounds and graphics, it is a fun little vertical shooter. The game supports single and two player modes with varying degrees of difficulty. Let’s unbox it and have a look!
Today I got a package from fellow retro nerd Matze79, aka Retroianer. He sent me two PCB kits for parallel port sound cards: The TNDLPT and the LPTsnd. The former is Tandy compatible sound device by Serdaco, who sells quite a bit of retro kits, and the latter is a DAC for the printer port by Matze79 himself. The two boards let you add either 3 voice synthesized music or 8 bit PCM playback capability to retro DOS machines. A lot of very old games don’t support SoundBlaster or Adlib cards so these are options for getting better sound with your gaming experience. Also many old laptops of the 386 and 486 era don’t come with builtin sound cards, which is why these devices here are useful as well.
Today we continue on our quest to make a small VGA game. So far we learned how to initialize Mode X and use some of its nice features. Copying images from system memory was painfully slow though. So let’s make it faster with a small trick!
I am not very content with the original CX40 joysticks that came with my Atari 2600. While they are iconic pieces of hardware, actually playing with them gives me hand cramps and their innards are prone to breaking. Instead I am using a custom arcade controller right now. For two player games a second one was in order. So I picked an arcade joystick kit by Monster Joysticks. It recently arrived, so what else to do than assemble it and take it for a spin! No soldering required…