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by BigEd
Mon Nov 30, 2020 8:40 pm
Forum: off-topic
Topic: Chess Wars - Battle of the 8 Bit Micros
Replies: 36
Views: 566

Re: Chess Wars - Battle of the 8 Bit Micros

Well that's a bit of a procedural setback... are the two programs taking roughly the same total time? That feels to like a fair comparison to aim at, although of course no-one would want to spend a lot of time adjusting levels up and down.
by BigEd
Mon Nov 30, 2020 8:30 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn software: other
Topic: BBC BASIC on the 65816
Replies: 29
Views: 376

Re: BBC BASIC on the 65816

I think the Acorn Communicator Software Tools Manual, a free download from the CCH, has the answers.
by BigEd
Mon Nov 30, 2020 1:31 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn software: other
Topic: BBC BASIC on the 65816
Replies: 29
Views: 376

Re: BBC BASIC on the 65816

I wouldn't worry about code size: in this context we have acres of RAM to play with. A 24k or even a 32k Basic wouldn't be a problem, I think. Especially if such an approach improves performance!

BTW Bruce Clark wrote an excellent document on the 816:
http://www.6502.org/tutorials/65c816opcodes.html
by BigEd
Mon Nov 30, 2020 1:23 pm
Forum: off-topic
Topic: Odd Peripheral Goings-On With RPi4
Replies: 76
Views: 4612

Re: Odd Peripheral Goings-On With RPi4

You may well need to have taken some steps to update firmware for the Pi4: it's not just the files on the SD card, there is onboard firmware too. Perhaps see here : The easiest way to to update the bootloader to the latest version with default settings is to use the Raspberry Pi Imager to install a ...
by BigEd
Mon Nov 30, 2020 1:15 pm
Forum: off-topic
Topic: Chess Wars - Battle of the 8 Bit Micros
Replies: 36
Views: 566

Re: Chess Wars - Battle of the 8 Bit Micros

Thanks Diminished for both those in-browser replay links: being able to step forwards (and sometimes backwards) really helped me to see the flow of play. It turns out, on the one hand, throwing your queen away isn't great, and on the other hand, losing all your pawns having lost all your pieces does...
by BigEd
Sun Nov 29, 2020 10:04 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn hardware
Topic: Choosing a slice of Pi
Replies: 20
Views: 356

Re: Choosing a slice of Pi

You do! (Unless you buy a solderless one, which you stick on with a hammer or a vice...)
by BigEd
Sun Nov 29, 2020 10:03 pm
Forum: off-topic
Topic: Chess Wars - Battle of the 8 Bit Micros
Replies: 36
Views: 566

Re: Chess Wars - Battle of the 8 Bit Micros

Nice result. Sargon II has quite the pedigree - written by Kathe and Dan Spracklen who had been writing chess programs since 1977, and continued for years more.
by BigEd
Sun Nov 29, 2020 9:14 pm
Forum: general
Topic: 4corn update 20/11/2020 - Drawing Office indices
Replies: 13
Views: 502

Re: 4corn update 20/11/2020 - Drawing Office indices

I'd guess this is a plan to use Hitachi's 1984 HD63484 ACRTC (Advanced CRT Controller chip) which supports high resolutions and offers high level graphics primitives too (IIRC). From the manual : 38 Commands including 23 Graphic Drawing Commands - LINE, RECTANGLE, POLYLINE, POLYGON, CIRCLE, ELLIPSE,...
by BigEd
Sun Nov 29, 2020 8:46 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn software: other
Topic: Why was BBC BASIC so fast?
Replies: 196
Views: 7050

Re: Why was BBC BASIC so fast?

I'm sure we could always ask a mod here to move posts into an off-topic thread. People who get banned here are (as far as I know) only people who are persistently offensive. I'm pretty sure they always get a warning shot. You should have nothing to worry about on that front.
by BigEd
Sun Nov 29, 2020 7:15 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn software: other
Topic: Why was BBC BASIC so fast?
Replies: 196
Views: 7050

Re: Why was BBC BASIC so fast?

> last seen going into a skip...
That's a great shame, but as you note, it's a common story.

This is off-topic, of course, but I'm vaguely interested to know if your machine and the Beeb's machines used the 8271 for their disk controller.
by BigEd
Sun Nov 29, 2020 3:28 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn software: other
Topic: BBC BASIC on the 65816
Replies: 29
Views: 376

Re: BBC BASIC on the 65816

(Confirmed in jsbeeb for 6502 BBC Basic!)
by BigEd
Sun Nov 29, 2020 3:27 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn hardware
Topic: Choosing a slice of Pi
Replies: 20
Views: 356

Re: Choosing a slice of Pi

The heat of the 4 worries me a bit in there ... I think that's no longer a concern: a couple of firmware updates improved things considerably. I thought PiTubeDirect did use a second core to provide the Tube ULA IRQ handler or something, but how much difference in practice that makes, I don't know....
by BigEd
Sun Nov 29, 2020 1:50 pm
Forum: off-topic
Topic: Chess Wars - Battle of the 8 Bit Micros
Replies: 36
Views: 566

Re: Chess Wars - Battle of the 8 Bit Micros

Looking forwrd to the next round. (It's curious to me that Cyrus was ported to many Z80 machines, but also to a 6809 machine. That's such a different machine! Playing a Z80 Cyrus against a Dragon Cyrus might even be interesting, in case they just re-used the brand and some ideas. Edit: it was Richar...
by BigEd
Sun Nov 29, 2020 1:29 pm
Forum: off-topic
Topic: Odd Peripheral Goings-On With RPi4
Replies: 76
Views: 4612

Re: Odd Peripheral Goings-On With RPi4

I wouldn't have thought the Pi 4 was a year old - but that's my sense of time for you. Well done for lasting a year. I think if I could last for a year on something I could keep going forever, so you must have quite the pain tolerance. My other laptop is a Chromebook, which is probably underpowered ...
by BigEd
Sun Nov 29, 2020 10:28 am
Forum: 8-bit acorn software: other
Topic: BBC BASIC on the 65816
Replies: 29
Views: 376

Re: BBC BASIC on the 65816

Incidentally, is it known how complete the embedded 65816 assembler is? If it is reasonably complete and well implemented it would be really nice on the GS! I've only typed a handful of opcodes in to a Communicator, but I'd guess that it's a completely featureful embedded assembler - and indeed, it...
by BigEd
Sun Nov 29, 2020 10:27 am
Forum: 8-bit acorn software: other
Topic: BBC BASIC on the 65816
Replies: 29
Views: 376

Re: BBC BASIC on the 65816

(Beeb816's memory map is quite different, but I don't know if that's too big an obstacle. Is this a good place to discuss the two? Or should we perhaps have a new thread?)
by BigEd
Sun Nov 29, 2020 10:25 am
Forum: 8-bit acorn software: classic games
Topic: The best version of Chess that runs on a model B
Replies: 39
Views: 706

Re: The best version of Chess that runs on a model B

There is some question of how to select the difficulty level. Two easy ways to do it are to select the lowest level, and to select the highest level. But in the first case we don't see the characteristic strength of the program, and in the second case it could take an inordinately long time to play....
by BigEd
Sun Nov 29, 2020 10:19 am
Forum: off-topic
Topic: Chess Wars - Battle of the 8 Bit Micros
Replies: 36
Views: 566

Re: Chess Wars - Battle of the 8 Bit Micros

Great to see the first result! I'd just like to confirm that these are the two programs in this round:
ZX SPECTRUM 48K using Sinclair/Psion Chess - 1982, Anthony Adam
Dragon 32 using Cyrus Chess - 1982/3, Richard Lang (original Z80 version, maybe this 6809 port too)
by BigEd
Sat Nov 28, 2020 6:05 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn software: other
Topic: Why was BBC BASIC so fast?
Replies: 196
Views: 7050

Re: Why was BBC BASIC so fast?

Oh, that's great! OK for me to reshare this information?
by BigEd
Sat Nov 28, 2020 4:21 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn software: other
Topic: BBC BASIC on the 65816
Replies: 29
Views: 376

Re: BBC BASIC on the 65816

A very interesting thread! With luck there will be low-hanging fruit and this Basic can get a bit quicker. It seems to me '816 code could be marginally slower (per MHz), if the extra addressing specifiers take too many extra clocks, or marginally faster, if 16 bit operations can be usefully used for...
by BigEd
Sat Nov 28, 2020 4:08 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn software: other
Topic: Why was BBC BASIC so fast?
Replies: 196
Views: 7050

Re: Why was BBC BASIC so fast?

Excellent!
by BigEd
Sat Nov 28, 2020 1:12 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn software: other
Topic: Why was BBC BASIC so fast?
Replies: 196
Views: 7050

Re: Why was BBC BASIC so fast?

That's interesting too! Was that work at your own initiative, or at the request of the BBC, or of Acorn? Was it specifically for Acorn's Z80 second processor? And how did you test it?
by BigEd
Sat Nov 28, 2020 12:14 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn software: other
Topic: Why was BBC BASIC so fast?
Replies: 196
Views: 7050

Re: Why was BBC BASIC so fast?

That sounds good - thanks for the explanation!
by BigEd
Sat Nov 28, 2020 11:18 am
Forum: 8-bit acorn software: other
Topic: Why was BBC BASIC so fast?
Replies: 196
Views: 7050

Re: Why was BBC BASIC so fast?

Always interesting to see benchmarks! I note that your 64bit build is faster than your 32bit build - not sure I would have expected that, but then that's what measurements are for.
by BigEd
Sat Nov 28, 2020 11:16 am
Forum: off-topic
Topic: Chess Wars - Battle of the 8 Bit Micros
Replies: 36
Views: 566

Re: Chess Wars - Battle of the 8 Bit Micros

I hope you manage to stick with it - I expect it might be a bit of a task, having to wait several minutes for each move. But very interested to see what happens.
by BigEd
Fri Nov 27, 2020 9:28 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn software: other
Topic: Anyone got Communicator system software? (Basic has 65816 assembler)
Replies: 94
Views: 11918

Re: Anyone got Communicator system software? (Basic has 65816 assembler)

Oh, that's quite interesting - especially as the screenshot I took of the briefcase model shows the Basic TOP and HIMEM being either side of a bank boundary.
by BigEd
Fri Nov 27, 2020 9:19 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn emulators
Topic: MAME: How to ... ?
Replies: 64
Views: 3995

Re: MAME: How to ... ?

dominicbeesley wrote:
Fri Nov 27, 2020 7:03 pm
Ed,

... it's pretty much Basic4.32 with 24bit pointers - I've just posted in another thread with some more details. I'll start a new 65816 BASIC thread some time this weekend.
Great - we've both got reasons to be interested in an '816 Basic! See you in that new thread.
by BigEd
Fri Nov 27, 2020 6:51 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn emulators
Topic: MAME: How to ... ?
Replies: 64
Views: 3995

Re: MAME: How to ... ?

Oh that would be a disappointment - I was hoping Acorn had done some good stuff using 16 bit operations to speed up arithmetic!
by BigEd
Fri Nov 27, 2020 2:41 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn emulators
Topic: MAME: How to ... ?
Replies: 64
Views: 3995

Re: MAME: How to ... ?

(is there any way to use the serial port, modem, or Econet, to load a program?)

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