“Please stop the tape”

I’m seriously going to take a break from computers for a while. It’s a bit too much when you’re stuck in front of a monitor due to your job and as part of your hobby.

Drive safe people!

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Three more DC2N5-LC DIY kits sold

Not surprising as these seem to be quite simple to put together if you’re not too worried about an enclosure. However, SMD soldering experience would be advantageous if you’re thinking of buying a DC2N5-LC DIY kit🙂

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Two more Tiny C2N Monitors sold

Only two left…

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SPUTM-like interpreter update

After finishing version 4 of the walking frames for Guybrush, I thought to lay down the list of things I want to do, in the order I plan to do them:

  • a point-to-point demo in which Guybrush walks from his current position to where the user’s pointer is, upon pressing the fire button: this is required for me to make sure that Guybrush only makes vertical steps that ensure the stability of the sprite multiplexer. It essentially means coding a custom line algorithm;
  • add sprite clipping: for the current design of Guybrush’s sprites there is a huge simplification that I can leverage due to the fact that in each zone sprites overlap perfectly, so only one clipping mask is required per zone. For the generic case I’ve thought of a further change that might come handy: pre-calculate clipping masks and store them in memory arranged in a convenient way for building sprite masks. Both simplifications require quite a few changes in my clipping code;
  • implement a proper walk from point to point algorithm, using navigation meshes: I essentially need library functions for things like “find if a point belongs to a trapezoid” at runtime, everything else can be pre-calculated and stored in memory;
  • put everything together in a playable demo🙂

All good fun if you ask me. However I don’t anticipate a speedy implementation as I’ve been abusing my eyes quite a lot recently in order to get to version 4 of Guybrush’s walking frames: I need a well deserved rest from PC monitors!

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C2NEmu PCBs received and first prototype assembled

As I received the PCBs of my C2NEmu project, I assembled one. Here’s the result:

C2NEmu: first assembled prototype

C2NEmu: first assembled prototype

Just to recap: this device connects to a Commodore 64/VIC 20 tape port and to a PC through a USB cable. It offers 2 modes of operation:

  1. playback a TAP file (version 0, 1, or 2) from a PC into a C64/VIC20
  2. record the write signal from a C64/VIC20 to a DMP file on a PC

C16 is supported as well by means of a converter, which I won’t be supplying myself.

Unlike audio equivalents, this device fully supports the motor signal, which is not just fundamental at the “FOUND” message or at a Credits screen. There are a number of games whose tape loader requires data playback to stop for a fairly large amount of time at given points: this device takes care of that, without manual intervention.

It’s still early for (pre-)ordering as I am still performing tests but I assume the final price is likely to be about 8 GBP + shipping.

Stay tuned!

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One more DC2N3 sold

So only 4 of them are available.

If interested in a DC2N3, order one before they’re gone🙂

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TAPClean and TAPClean Front End update

I finally found some time to build Linux packages too, so here they are available along with updated Windows ones. Updated packages provide TAPClean 0.33-pre7 (change log here) and TAPClean Front End 0.35.

A few fresh screenshots from Linux:

TAPClean Font End's interactive report

TAPClean Font End’s interactive report

TAPClean Font End's Prg file decoders

TAPClean Font End’s Prg file decoders

TAPClean Font End's graphical analysis tool

TAPClean Font End’s graphical analysis tool

Linux users:

  • Single amd64 tarball (built under Xubuntu 16.04) available here.

Windows users:

  • If you have the GTK+ 2.24.10 runtime installed (e.g. because you are running an earlier version of TAPClean Front End), you can use the minimal archive found here.
  • If you haven’t got the runtime installed and don’t wish to install it, you might want to use the bundle found here, which includes a minimal GTK+ 2.24.10 runtime (plus translations and a few themes).
  • If you use the graphical analysis tool a lot and are annoyed by the memory leaks in GTK+ 2.24.10 as per this bug report, you might want to try a beta bundle that includes a minimal GTK+ 2.24.30 runtime I compiled myself. The beta bundle is available here.

All users:

  • Up-to-date documentation is available here.
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