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Hello from Dallas/Fort Worth, TX


john_e79
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Hello! 🙂

My name's John I've been following the X16 for a bit and lately I've been getting into 65C02 ASM and figuring out things on the VERA.

If you're in the DFW area I've been out to Dallas Society of Play gamedev meetups and other DFW computing groups.

I was an 80s kid and grew up with the TI-99/4A, Atari 2600, NES, Sega Master System, TurboGrafx-16, Sega Genesis, and SNES. I knew someone down the street growing up who had a Commodore 64 so I have some familiarity with it. We got our first MS-DOS PC back in 92 on a 486sx/25 (it was a Packard Bell Legend series). I got into programming in Turbo Pascal/Turbo C/Turbo ASM in high school later in the 90s. My first job as a web developer was in 97 for a local ISP. I was also a local dial-up BBS SysOp around that time too. In the early 2000s I got into C#/.NET and a good portion of my career after college has been building websites and internal apps for companies in .NET, PHP, and other languages.

I've been working on several things in C++ lately, ranging from image and audio-related libraries as well as compression-related libraries, a NES emulator and other systems with my own 6502 implementation, and a VNC-like protocol that lets you use a Surface Pro 7 pen on another PC as an attachment kind of like a Wacom Cintiq over TCP/IP via KMDF virtual USB HID drivers.

The YM2151 was a big draw for me in getting into the X16 as I have a few of them here that I got a while back wanting to make a synth. Releasing FM synth music on the YM2151 to a larger software community would be very cool.

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Welcome John! I'm originally from DFW. I was born in Oak Cliff and spent most of my first 12 years in the metroplex. Then my family moved about 100 miles NE to where I graduated from HS, and I've been in Utah pretty much ever since.

Sounds like you are working on some interesting projects, especially surface pen over IP.

Edited by Scott Robison
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14 hours ago, Scott Robison said:

Welcome John! I'm originally from DFW. I was born in Oak Cliff and spent most of my first 12 years in the metroplex. Then my family moved about 100 miles NE to where I graduated from HS, and I've been in Utah pretty much ever since.

Sounds like you are working on some interesting projects, especially surface pen over IP.

I used to know someone back in the 90s when I was a BBS SysOp who lived over in Oak Cliff. I'm closer to Fort Worth and go out to Dallas for computing meetups, I used to work as a web developer out in Dallas too.

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56 minutes ago, john_e79 said:

I used to know someone back in the 90s when I was a BBS SysOp who lived over in Oak Cliff. I'm closer to Fort Worth and go out to Dallas for computing meetups, I used to work as a web developer out in Dallas too.

What BBS software did you use? I used to work for Clark Development, publisher of PCBoard. Back when they were still a company. Fortunately I had left a couple years before they went belly up.

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1 minute ago, Scott Robison said:

What BBS software did you use? I used to work for Clark Development, makers of PCBoard.

I ran Renegade and Oblivion/2 during the dial-up era and was a beta tester at one point for Iniquity BBS. Later I ran Mystic BBS over telnet.

I used to call a few boards that had PCBoard on them too. I made ANSI art on occasion for boards and helped other SysOps with modifications to their boards and door games.

Way later I built an Image2Ansi converter as sort of an academic math experiment that worked so well it made some people very upset, so I scrapped it, but I think maybe there's a place for it possibly as an Image2PETSCII app for the X16 perhaps.

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9 minutes ago, john_e79 said:

I ran Renegade and Oblivion/2 during the dial-up era and was a beta tester at one point for Iniquity BBS. Later I ran Mystic BBS over telnet.

I used to call a few boards that had PCBoard on them too. I made ANSI art on occasion for boards and helped other SysOps with modifications to their boards and door games.

Way later I built an Image2Ansi converter as sort of an academic math experiment that worked so well it made some people very upset, so I scrapped it, but I think maybe there's a place for it possibly as an Image2PETSCII app for the X16 perhaps.

I won't hold your choice of BBS software against you. 🙂

Why would people be upset about an Image2Ansi program? That makes no sense to me. Just because they felt you were removing the artist from ANSI art? I'm sure real artists at one point were upset that companies starting making brushes to sell, depriving their peers of the experience of creating things themselves. Oh well...

 

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Just now, Scott Robison said:

I won't hold your choice of BBS software against you. 🙂

Why would people be upset about an Image2Ansi program? That makes no sense to me. Just because they felt you were removing the artist from ANSI art? I'm sure real artists at one point were upset that companies starting making brushes to sell, depriving their peers of the experience of creating things themselves. Oh well...

 

It was very accurate on some things like preserving DOS aspect ratio, shaded characters in ASCII codes 176-178, and such, so much so that it was hard to tell in plenty of cases whether a work was done by hand or a conversion, which, is basically what it's supposed to do. I had some ideas around that time that I wanted to make an actual paint program that renders on the fly to Ansi. I also thought it might be good for producing text-based images with small file sizes for tiny displays like on TFTs for Arduinos. I had at one point made an Ansi touch screen interface on a small Arduino Micro, which was kind of interesting. Also, consider you might have a whole set of artwork that tells some kind of story but you want it told in a different art medium like Ansi, that's very difficult to do it pixel by pixel for whole sets of images.

There were basically some people screaming witchcraft, some outright indignant with me, and some others saying well if you have art competitions where money and prizes are given how do you keep people from cheating on them?

My thought on that is you could make the conversion a back-end service to some secure website, rather than some app you download or some front-end JS, and have someone look at the logs of all conversions. That would be tedious of course if a whole bunch of people used it.

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9 hours ago, john_e79 said:

There were basically some people screaming witchcraft, some outright indignant with me, and some others saying well if you have art competitions where money and prizes are given how do you keep people from cheating on them?

My thought on that is you could make the conversion a back-end service to some secure website, rather than some app you download or some front-end JS, and have someone look at the logs of all conversions. That would be tedious of course if a whole bunch of people used it.

That's a shame. You can buy a hammer and use it to bludgeon someone to death, but that doesn't mean the tool has no legitimate applications. Just because someone can use a tool in a way not intended does not mean the tool is a bad thing. Painters could make the same claim about computers: If you can go back infinite number of times to fix things, you remove one of the challenges of painting.

I think there is nothing wrong with the tool and you only heard from the detractors. Amplification bias.

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