Search found 281 matches

by Diminished
Fri Mar 30, 2018 2:22 am
Forum: bitshifters (new bbc master games)
Topic: Prince of Persia
Replies: 136
Views: 13632

Re: Prince of Persia

This is great. I know the PC version of this game very well, so I set out to try to complete it on my first try. The jump timing seems to differ very slightly from the PC version, although I'm almost certain this was a quirk of the PC port rather than a problem with this Master port. At first I also...
by Diminished
Thu Mar 22, 2018 6:34 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn software: classic games
Topic: Citadel Item Randomiser 0.4 (updated)
Replies: 44
Views: 7722

Re: Citadel Item Randomiser 0.4 (updated)

Wow, great stuff. Citadel was one of my favourites. Breathes some new life into the old girl. Cool. I had fun writing it, although all the testing took the shine off of playing it for me, unfortunately. Still, I've never written any 6502 assembler before (which I learned by disassembling the game i...
by Diminished
Sat Mar 17, 2018 3:50 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn hardware
Topic: IBM XT 360K (Double Density) Floppy on Model B?
Replies: 3
Views: 558

Re: IBM XT 360K (Double Density) Floppy on Model B?

Cool, thanks. I thought that I would run into problems since the drive is double density, but I suppose not (I never had a disc drive for my Beeb back in the 80s, so I'm new to this).

Is there a connector readily available for doing this, or am I going to have to try to hack one together?
by Diminished
Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:38 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn hardware
Topic: IBM XT 360K (Double Density) Floppy on Model B?
Replies: 3
Views: 558

IBM XT 360K (Double Density) Floppy on Model B?

So I have an old IBM XT 5¼" floppy drive, and I'm wondering if it's possible to use it with a Model B, since I have a load of old PC 360K discs in the roof, with nothing particularly interesting on them.

The machine has DFS and an 8271. I suspect one needs a 1770?

Any ideas?
by Diminished
Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:54 pm
Forum: off-topic
Topic: Thermionic Valves
Replies: 81
Views: 6742

Re: Thermionic Valves

Thank you. Twenty years on, I finally get it. The reason I was confused is because solid state amps nowadays feature "tube emulation" circuits which are intended to mimic the sound of old valve amps (and, to be fair, they are pretty good nowadays). I'd assumed these circuits would introduce the same...
by Diminished
Fri Mar 09, 2018 2:14 pm
Forum: general
Topic: Maplin Electronics in administration
Replies: 110
Views: 9739

Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

I wonder if it is a bit like the goose that lays golden eggs. Imagine someone owns such a goose but it seems to be ailing and isn't laying so many golden eggs so he puts it up for sale. People look at the goose and one buyer concludes that it probably has a terminal illness but has a plan and buys ...
by Diminished
Thu Mar 08, 2018 5:18 pm
Forum: other vintage computer hardware, software and games
Topic: No more leaded solder
Replies: 51
Views: 3530

Re: No more leaded solder

Paradoxically, it seems like the chief effect of this ban on the denizens of this forum was ... a large uptick in sales of leaded solder. :lol:
by Diminished
Thu Mar 08, 2018 5:05 pm
Forum: off-topic
Topic: Thermionic Valves
Replies: 81
Views: 6742

Re: Thermionic Valves

Thanks a lot, guys. The question I was trying to ask here was "how close is too close?", which I now realise is about as sensible as asking how long a piece of string is, what with magnetic fields being infinite and all. I think I was hoping that someone would pat me on the head and tell me everythi...
by Diminished
Thu Mar 08, 2018 6:56 am
Forum: general
Topic: Maplin Electronics in administration
Replies: 110
Views: 9739

Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Here's a look at what happened to Maplin from a very different angle. It seems they may have had problems with tangled finances as well as the ones visible to us as geeks. Its sole owner is MEL Bidco. MEL Bidco is a wholly-owned subsidiary of MEL Midco, which in turn is a wholly-owned subsidiary of...
by Diminished
Wed Mar 07, 2018 6:35 pm
Forum: off-topic
Topic: Thermionic Valves
Replies: 81
Views: 6742

Re: Thermionic Valves

I might as well ask this here and see if anyone has any ideas. Not Acorn or computing related, so apologies for that. So I have a guitar amplifier -- a Laney VC30 -- which according to some commentators has a design flaw afflicting some models. Essentially, some seem to think that the speaker is mou...
by Diminished
Wed Mar 07, 2018 2:12 pm
Forum: other vintage computer hardware, software and games
Topic: No more leaded solder
Replies: 51
Views: 3530

Re: No more leaded solder

I would have thought some kind of lead substitute was introduced years ago. This is the problem -- AFAIK there isn't one. I'm no metallurgist, but as I understand it there are two problems with lead-free solder. Firstly, leaded solder has no "plastic" phase -- it goes straight from being a liquid t...
by Diminished
Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:16 pm
Forum: off-topic
Topic: Thermionic Valves
Replies: 81
Views: 6742

Re: Thermionic Valves

What I'd like to know is who made the machines that made the machines that .... :wink: Yes, the machines are an interesting question about the whole process. I mentioned earlier that the company making the valves I bought recently was set up in the 90s. The only reason they were able to begin produ...
by Diminished
Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:44 am
Forum: off-topic
Topic: Thermionic Valves
Replies: 81
Views: 6742

Re: Thermionic Valves

by Diminished
Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:47 am
Forum: general
Topic: Maplin Electronics in administration
Replies: 110
Views: 9739

Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

I actually have an anecdote dating from about fifteen years ago involving me, the Maplin website, a nihilistic afternoon and an SQL injection vulnerability. To their great credit, they were very understanding when I (belatedly) got in touch with them about it, but I learned a big lesson that week. :...
by Diminished
Thu Mar 01, 2018 2:42 am
Forum: general
Topic: Maplin Electronics in administration
Replies: 110
Views: 9739

Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

I feel there's an irony in this. Growing up, Maplin used to be my number one choice for purchasing hobby electronic components through mail order. If you were impatient or desperate, you could go to Tandy/Radio Shack/(Archer/Realistic ... how many brands did they need, anyway?) on the high street, b...
by Diminished
Wed Feb 28, 2018 7:10 am
Forum: wanted
Topic: Would like to borrow: Hydra controller card
Replies: 29
Views: 3880

Re: Would like to borrow: Hydra controller card

I get the impression this would have been a rather loose interpretation of the word "borrow".

C'est magnifique, Hookey Street...
by Diminished
Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:11 pm
Forum: off-topic
Topic: Thermionic Valves
Replies: 81
Views: 6742

Re: Thermionic Valves

Edit: see also the wonderful video Hand Made Vacuum Tubes by Claude Paillard Very cool. With the Doomsday Clock currently set to 30 seconds before midnight, this knowledge will surely come in handy when the EMP strikes. Bring on the steampunk future! :twisted: Matched sets might be a little tricky,...
by Diminished
Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:24 pm
Forum: off-topic
Topic: Thermionic Valves
Replies: 81
Views: 6742

Re: Thermionic Valves

I wonder what other markets still exist. I read a few years ago now that high-powered RF applications, for example TV transmitters, tended to be valve based and that was long after just about everything else was transistorised or even IC-based. I don't know if that is still the case. I assume domes...
by Diminished
Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:12 pm
Forum: off-topic
Topic: Why did CISC prevail?
Replies: 21
Views: 1740

Re: Why did CISC prevail?

Interesting stuff in this thread. +1 Thumb dislike here too. There is a joke in here somewhere about "sucking your Thumb" but I'll pass, although the 32-bit "Thumb-2" Cortex edition of it is a lot better. I liked the conditional instructions in the older 32-bit ARM architectures. A few years ago I w...
by Diminished
Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:06 pm
Forum: off-topic
Topic: Thermionic Valves
Replies: 81
Views: 6742

Re: Thermionic Valves

I vaguely remember Mullard valves. New-old-stock Mullards are still sought after by guitarists. I think the reason I like these little baubles so much is because I was exactly the right age to be captivated by them. There is a documented phenomenon of children being enraptured more by slightly antiq...
by Diminished
Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:21 pm
Forum: off-topic
Topic: Thermionic Valves
Replies: 81
Views: 6742

Re: Thermionic Valves

For emotional and historic reasons with which I won't bore you, I have a real fondness for these. Shortly before Christmas I re-valved my guitar amplifier as I had a gig to play. One of the original valves had gone microphonic (a big problem at stage volumes) so I bought gorgeous new sets of ECC83s ...
by Diminished
Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:23 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn software: classic games
Topic: Citadel Item Randomiser 0.4 (updated)
Replies: 44
Views: 7722

Citadel Item Randomiser 0.4

0.4 is mostly a rewrite. I probably should have tested it a little more but I have other things to do ... - built-in PRNG means seeds now compatible between Model B and Master - pyramid sarcophagus and its corresponding crystal are both now randomised - solver now calculates maximum points for each ...
by Diminished
Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:41 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn software: classic games
Topic: Citadel Item Randomiser 0.4 (updated)
Replies: 44
Views: 7722

Re: Citadel Item Randomiser 0.1 (and now 0.2)

Here's the 2 file (CITADEL and CITAX), no speech, no title screen, PIAS1 re-release BBC Master compatible disk version, which I guess would've been the last official release of the game :?: (CHAIN"CITADEL" to load!) Thanks for these, Bill ... I quite fancy this one, as you don't have to sit through...
by Diminished
Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:10 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn software: classic games
Topic: Citadel Item Randomiser 0.4 (updated)
Replies: 44
Views: 7722

Re: Citadel Item Randomiser 0.1 (and now 0.2)

Worth a try, Rich ... I might as well post the current state of my CITAM disassembly ... It's unfinished and I know for a fact it contains plenty of inconsistencies and mistakes, and much of the variable and subroutine naming could be improved. I don't think WFDIS supports comments longer than a sin...
by Diminished
Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:25 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn software: classic games
Topic: Citadel Item Randomiser 0.4 (updated)
Replies: 44
Views: 7722

Re: Citadel Item Randomiser 0.1 (and now 0.2)

Incidentally, that weird code in the patch which is checking for certain magic values and converting them to other magic values: that's translating a 'stripy' colour value into the best flat colour that can be selected using a legal GCOL call. That's why stuff like the Witch's House roof looks flat...
by Diminished
Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:19 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn software: classic games
Topic: Citadel Item Randomiser 0.4 (updated)
Replies: 44
Views: 7722

Re: Citadel Item Randomiser 0.1 (and now 0.2)

Also, why is the patch code full of NOPs? Maybe I've been awake too long, but I keep giggling at this sentence. It seems like all I've done for two days is stare at deranged code that's inexplicably full of NOPs. I think I need to gawk at CITAM for a bit to regain my sanity. There isn't a single NO...
by Diminished
Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:31 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn software: classic games
Topic: Citadel Item Randomiser 0.4 (updated)
Replies: 44
Views: 7722

Re: Citadel Item Randomiser 0.1 (and now 0.2)

Well, this was more fun than working on the randomiser. That routine at &5720 looks like the bit that patches the game for Master compatibility - it puts a small amount of code at &B001 and then patches the main code to jump there in certain situations. If anyone has the time to look at what it's do...
by Diminished
Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:06 am
Forum: 8-bit acorn software: classic games
Topic: Citadel Item Randomiser 0.4 (updated)
Replies: 44
Views: 7722

Re: Citadel Item Randomiser 0.1 (and now 0.2)

Well, none of the STH images are originals, because the SSD format can't support protected disks. So all of those images are necessarily versions which have had their protection stripped and put onto a clean DFS format disk image. Ah, I didn't realise this. The original disk isn't formatted in any ...
by Diminished
Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:28 am
Forum: 8-bit acorn software: classic games
Topic: Citadel Item Randomiser 0.4 (updated)
Replies: 44
Views: 7722

Re: Citadel Item Randomiser 0.1 (and now 0.2)

Thanks, Rich! I'm slightly disappointed that the STH version wasn't the original, since I'm pretty sure that's the one I spent two months disassembling! I'm baffled as to why CITAM would be reloaded at &8000. I'm not an expert on the machine's internals, but ... isn't that all ROM and I/O up there? ...
by Diminished
Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:10 am
Forum: 8-bit acorn software: classic games
Topic: Citadel Item Randomiser 0.4 (updated)
Replies: 44
Views: 7722

Re: Citadel Item Randomiser 0.1 (and now 0.2)

Aha, that sounds likely. It might also explain why something seems to modify it. Which is actually where this gets interesting for the archivists, because I'm using the version from STH ( this one right here ). So if this is the hallmark of removed copy protection, then there seem to be two possibil...

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