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Scott Robison

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Everything posted by Scott Robison

  1. I thought ET was that bad. Not a fan. I loved the port of Star Trek Strategic Operations Simulator, Frogger, Missile Command, Space Invaders, Asteroids...
  2. https://www.tomshardware.com/news/mars-probe-gets-windows-98-update seems a better source. Sorry for the misleading previous article.
  3. Some one corrected the article elsewhere, stating the probe is running an RTOS, and that Windows 98 was just used during development. Which makes more sense to me, though I've not confirmed that either. I just took the article at face value.
  4. Edit: see correction below. I find it interesting that a Mars probe is running Windows 98. https://www.techradar.com/news/mars-probe-running-windows-98-receives-software-update-after-two-decades
  5. Another issue to consider is how much effort to expend. Yes, you want it accurate, but it's a fool's errand to spend months optimizing code to save a few seconds per year. Mind you, I've been that fool before, but when it comes to commercial code, you have to weigh the cost of the development, testing, maintenance, etc against the use case. We want our operating systems to be efficient because we use them all the time. An android app for 2048 isn't nearly as critical. Yes, take pride in your work, but also realize when the effort isn't justified by the return on the investment.
  6. That is a question that a person can only answer for him or her self. Spectrum Next is not for me but X16 is.
  7. Apple IIgs used 65816 because of the high level of backward compatibility it had to the NMOS 6502 used in earlier Apple II models. So I think it is safe to say that as long as you kept it in emulation mode, it could mostly use the same kernal and other software. But to fully take advantage of it would require changes to the system.
  8. Simple supply and demand. There are not enough hobbyists to make it worth anyone's time or effort.
  9. There is a separation, but many / most ML programs include a BASIC stub to run the ML after loading it. And some programs are written in BASIC. And some ML programs will use routines in the BASIC ROM. Any of those programs would not work in a COMAL or Forth only environment.
  10. And for people who might not know or remember, the idea of files having fixed length records that you could seek to was very common in systems prior to the 1980s. CP/M basically treated files as a number of 128 byte records (the size of a sector usually). The idea that you could seek to an arbitrary byte offset in any old file was pretty radical when it was introduced. Given that much of the world ran off 9 track magnetic tape, the record abstraction was convenient for batch processing. Today we take for granted that we can seek around in a file and read it back in a random order. Such has not always been the case.
  11. Because it is what the team creating the X16 wanted. There are many things that could be called "wrong" in any given project, not the least of which is using a 40 year old (give or take) CPU. But the people creating it have a vision for it. When I create a machine I get to make the decisions. When you create a machine you get to make the decisions. In the meantime, we have the ability to use other software that isn't included in the machine if we want.
  12. Because the ancient BASiC feels authentically like a Commodore 8 bit computer. Those who want COMAL are of course free to use it.
  13. BASIC 2 involves far less bank switching than BASIC 7 would require. Between the screen editor, BASIC 7, and the kernal, 40 KB of ROM is consumed which would mean many context switches from one ROM bank to another. BASIC alone is 28K.
  14. Correct. Much as with the MMU on the C128, the CPU only ever has a 64K window into memory, so you have to get creative with banking. One exception being that there is a address mode for extended instructions to access anything in the 28 bit address space, but that's really only useful for register manipulation as PC is still a 16 bit register.
  15. While I will not disagree that sentimental reasons definitely came into play for selecting 65C02, it does offer certain advantages to Z80, namely its external data bus access is simpler than Z80. 65C02 generally accesses a byte per cycle, whereas Z80 requires multiple cycles per memory access.
  16. Mega65 has the "backward compatibility" with what the C65 seemed to be attempting (realizing we have no idea what the end product would have been since there was no end product). In addition to the 20 bit address space of the C65, Mega65 actually has a 28 bit address space, allowing it to access up to 256 MB of data, and it has some extended instructions that allow direct access to that complete address space (though large parts of it are marked reserved for future use). So not only is Mega65 banking different than CX16, its even different (extended) beyond what C128 and C65 did / would have done.
  17. 128K is decadent in comparison to a 16K VIC II bank.
  18. I don't think we've seen this here yet:
  19. I'm going to try to put in some time on it this weekend. The biggest flaw with any feedback I provide will be my lack of context from having never used an Amiga 35 to 40 years ago and crap am I feeling old.
  20. Exactly. I was excited to get The C64 Mini, and I wanted the Maxi enough to order it from the UK since I couldn't find it state side. As I said, I don't have as much nostalgia for Amiga, other than the nostalgia of drooling over ads in magazines. But I decided to go for it after all. It is an emulator with two USB controllers I can use elsewhere, and it comes in its own bit of "sculptured art" reproduction case. And I apparently have more money than sense.
  21. When they first announced The A500 Mini my reaction was basically "I don't care! I never owned an Amiga (even though I really wanted one) and based on history it'll be impossible to get in the US anyway." Then when I saw it introduced on The 8 Bit Guy & Retro Recipes I decided to get one. Sour grapes? FOMO? Maybe a little of both. In any case, it arrived today. Younger me is envious.
  22. I opted to go for the MiSTer Multisystem with their 3D printed console looking case. I selected the black case. Should arrive tomorrow!
  23. It isn't something I've investigated so I can't say. I should contact the contractor that put in the system originally and see if it is possible.
  24. I think the idea is that programs would be free to use advanced features that would simply not be rendered if a particular version didn't support it. If using transparency, for example, and the version didn't support transparency, one would wind up with solid colors rather than alpha blending. I can see how a system could be made backward compatible but it still sounds like a pain. Maybe I'm in the minority, though. I would never begrudge people running mods on their own hardware if that's what they want to do, but I would not be inclined to support those mods myself. I'd code to the lowest common denominator, which is the base platform usually.
  25. We have a 1000 wh battery that my wife uses when we're in the RV to run her CPAP, which we charge from our home AC as needed. What I'd really like to get is a something comparable to a power wall so that I have lots of emergency power, but for now that's more than I want to spend.
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