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2
votes
1answer
28 views

Is my “SNSP-001A (FRG)” SNES a one-chip or two-chip SNES?

The SNES I bought from Toys "R" Us in Sweden in ~1993 has this model number: SNSP-001A (FRG) I find very conflicting and confusing info online on this. It seems to be from France... or Spain....
6
votes
1answer
174 views

How can I access the VGA card's ROM fonts with interrupt 10h operation 1130h in protected mode C?

I'm using Open Watcom 1.9 to write some 286 real mode, and 386 protected mode software for DOS in C. In real mode, I can retrieve a pointer to the system ROM character bitmaps in real mode using int ...
0
votes
0answers
52 views

Power supply of SGM Regia 2048 [closed]

I need to identify the power supply type, or at least the voltages, for our lighting control desk SGM Regia 2048. The power supply burnt down and I need to find a replacement. Do you recognize the ...
9
votes
2answers
852 views

Transition from static to dynamic shared libraries

A static library, also known as an archive, is one intended to be statically linked. Originally, only static libraries existed. Static linking must be performed when any modules are recompiled. (From ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Is there a screen recording application for Windows 3.1?

I am looking for an application that runs in Windows 3.1 and will save the screen to a video file on a disk. I know Windows 3.1 had a extension called Win32s, which is a subset of the Win32 API and ...
10
votes
4answers
6k views

Why did fonts in Windows 1.01's Write application look so poor?

In Windows 1.01 Write, the fonts were kind of blocky: Here's what the same text looked like in a modern word processor: Even the terminal had smoother text than Windows 1.01: Why did Windows 1.01 ...
1
vote
2answers
216 views

How did Capcom make the decision to produce 1942? [closed]

The classic Capcom game 1942 puts the player in the pilot seat of an American fighter aircraft in WW2, shooting down wave after wave of Japanese aircraft. Capcom is a Japanese company. How did Capcom ...
4
votes
1answer
313 views

What is the model of fast CAD printer used in Pentagon Wars?

Panning shots of a seemingly fast (CAD?) printer are shown in Pentagon Wars, for example in this clip at timecode 8:34: https://youtu.be/aXQ2lO3ieBA?t=514 What is it, and how does it work?
40
votes
3answers
5k views

How did varargs in C develop?

C has a feature for variadic functions, my understanding is this feature was originally a hack, relying on the simple stack-based parameter passing used by early C implementations and that some time ...
22
votes
1answer
4k views

Did the original MS-DOS Quake not have a menu item for freelook, and if so, why?

I know that Quake (the 1996 MS-DOS game) is a "full" 3D engine, and always had some kind of mouse support. However, even the original Wolfenstein 3D from 1992 also had mouse support from the ...
9
votes
1answer
215 views

What sort of intermediate representation did the first Fortran compiler use?

Proebsting's Law asserts that improvements to compiler technology double the performance of typical programs every 18 years, but even granted that this is somewhat tongue-in-cheek, it's not really ...
2
votes
1answer
206 views

Why did the Speak & Spell have an alphabetic keyboard?

Many of us remember the original Speak & Spell from 1978: Image source: Wikipedia One of the interesting things about this early handheld educational game console is the keyboard. It's not normal!...
5
votes
1answer
383 views

Is this SpeedDOS chip mounted right in my C64?

I have removed a chip to reseat it, but sadly I forgot how it was placed on my C64 (breadbin). I assume its text should be in the same direction of all the other chips on the board, but now I don't ...
5
votes
3answers
303 views

How can I get Windows 95 to run in DOSBox?

When booting Win95, DOSBox suddenly closes before even the "Starting Windows 95..." dialog shows up. I entered these commands in DOSBox: mount C C:\dos C:\ cd WINDOWS win After entering win,...
12
votes
0answers
155 views

68060 CLKEN and CLK pins

Using an 68060 to 68040 Amiga adapter on another brand. The adapter ties the 68040 BCLK to the 68060 CLKEN. The CLK pin on the adapter is left floating. To run the CPU with 1/2 bus will I need to ...
18
votes
3answers
3k views

Would it be technically possible to make a “Satiator” for the PlayStation?

There is this thing being sold for the Sega Saturn called the "Satiator". It's basically a little card that you slide into the back of a completely unmodified Saturn, and then you slide in a ...
6
votes
1answer
245 views

Does the Atari 1040 STE work with the Atari SM124 monitor?

I have an Atari 1040STE. I'd like to use it with the Atari SM124 B/W monitor but I'm not sure it will work. It's my understanding that the Atari SM124 works fine with earlier Atari ST models, but when ...
6
votes
2answers
222 views

What is the relation between external clock and internal states in the 68000?

(I'm assuming a memory cycle of 500 ns, without wait states.) According to the 68000 bus diagram, there are 4 CPU cycles for a memory cycle, so an external frequency of 8 MHz. However, things are ...
21
votes
2answers
2k views

How does Laplink achieve “high speeds” on standard/legacy serial ports?

I have been using Laplink Pro 4.0a to transfer files between a modern Windows 10 desktop PC (via DOSBox) and several vintage DOS computers. Using a standard null-modem serial cable, in my testing it ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

What computer programs did Grace Hopper work on during World War II?

Admiral Grace Hopper was a computer pioneer. She wrote the first linker and one of the first compilers; was a proponent of human-readable computer languages, machine-independence of languages, and ...
36
votes
11answers
6k views

What's the origin of terminating strings by setting the high bit of the last character?

I was looking at a hex dump of the ROM BASIC from the original IBM PC and found some byte strings like this (ASCII dump is on the right): 50 52 49 4e d4 9d 4c 49 53 d4 9e 50 4f d3 1b 45 PRIN..LIS.....
14
votes
1answer
2k views

What was the first programming language to use `+` for string concatenation?

Many reasonably modern programming languages (Java, Python, C++, Ruby) use + to represent string concatenation. "A" + "B" is the string "AB". Languages with a more ...
7
votes
0answers
131 views

BBC Micro split mixed graphics modes, could Mode 7 teletext be mixed with them?

The Elite computer game was one example of different graphics modes being on the screen at once: Mode 4 (monochrome, 320x256) for the main wireframed vector graphics game play and Mode 5 (4 colour ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

Windows 3.1 Hardware acceleration API

As far as I know, there were many video cards which offered 2D acceleration (tasks like line drawing, colorfill, bitblit etc.) on Windows as early as Windows 3.1. Did they have any sort of ...
4
votes
1answer
421 views

What did Forest S. Mims III's RadioShack Sun & Sky Monitoring Station Do? What sensors did it have and how did it record data? [closed]

@Ruslan's excellent answer to What it the outer part of the sun, that we see with our eyes, called? and its link to David R. Brooks' Photographing the Solar Aureole led me to Forest M. Mims III (2003) ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

What are the “other crontabs” that /etc/crontab refer to? [closed]

The /etc/crontab file on ubuntu has a header that reads: # /etc/crontab: system-wide crontab # Unlike any other crontab you don't have to run the `crontab' # command to install the new version when ...
8
votes
0answers
190 views

What happened to the Speakeasy computational environment?

After reading his interview with the Computer History Museum , Cleve Moler (creator of MATLAB), mentioned that the Speakeasy Computational Environment was a precursor to MATLAB, and served as some ...
8
votes
0answers
178 views

Was there a cartoon series in the UK computer press called “Computability Brown”?

My dad was a computing professional in Scotland in the 1970s. He received a couple of industry trade magazines every week, such as Computer Weekly and Computing. In one of them, I remember there being ...
24
votes
1answer
474 views

How did the C64 lockup bug and its workarounds work?

The Commodore 64 suffered from a strange bug that caused it to lock up when typing in the full-screen BASIC editor. To trigger the bug, position the cursor on the last line of the screen, type enough ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

How would old software using the SIGPIPE signal really work if it were to manage _many_ pipes?

I'm wondering what was the thinking behind having a SIGPIPE signal. From my own experience, the first thing I do is turn off that signal (SIGIGN) and use the return value of the calls to make sure it ...
4
votes
2answers
212 views

Is a S-VIDEO-to-RCA cable worse video signal quality than an S-VIDEO-to-SCART cable?

When I got my Sega Saturn way back, it came with a video cable that is S-VIDEO in the Saturn end and SCART in the TV end (no adapter). It has always given me very crisp and nice picture on all the TVs ...
6
votes
0answers
113 views

How does Amiga HDToolbox calculate size?

I've been toying around with various drive geometries using the classic HDToolbox from 2.x/3.1 on my Amiga. What I've discovered is the total size calculated is always 1 cylinder short of my own ...
3
votes
1answer
192 views

ZX Spectrum coordinates to bitmap conversion subroutine acting strange

I originally posted this question on stackoverflow, but I wrote a little program that converts coordinates stored in the b and c registers of the z80 into their corresponding memory address for the ZX ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

What really prevented PC games from using hardware scrolling on CGA

According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adaptive_tile_refresh: CGA (the previous generation of PC graphics hardware) lacks features for scrolling in hardware so PC games started featuring ...
25
votes
3answers
3k views

How and what did it mean to connect to ARPANET from home?

In the iWoz biography, I read: Now, TV terminals I already knew a little about. […] I'd already built a terminal that could access the ARPANET, the government-owned network of computers that was the ...
20
votes
6answers
4k views

Why did some video games apparently use “interlaced” video modes?

I was under the impression that "interlaced" video modes was only a thing for remote television content because it saved bandwidth to only send 50% of the data to the homes, so you could fit ...
3
votes
1answer
211 views

Why were procedure parameter specifications optional in the ALGOL 60 Revised Report?

In Algol 60 procedure declarations, the 'specification' part was optional for by-name parameters. The specification is what gives (loosely speaking) the type of parameter - whether it's real, integer,...
5
votes
1answer
305 views

How did Mega-Lo-Mania's save state system work?

To continue a game in Mega-Lo-Mania (AKA Tyrants) on the Sega Megadrive/Genesis, you would enter an eight digit code into the interface and then you could resume a session. Presumably, the code ...
5
votes
5answers
494 views

Save state systems

With an Amiga A500, Action Replay cartridge (v1.5 or later) and memory expansion, it was possible to save a copy of the state of memory, much like a save state in an emulator. Were there any other ...
11
votes
5answers
4k views

Can a Japanese (or US) PSU for Nintendo 64 be run with 230 V mains?

The Nintendo 64 uses a proprietary PSU that takes mains voltage input and outputs 3.3 V and 12 V DC. PSU's from regions where mains voltage is 230 V (such as the EU) were sold as 230 V input while ...
7
votes
1answer
317 views

Monitor can't display boot/DOS video mode making dual boot impossible

I have an HP ZR24w monitor connected via HDMI input to a newer custom machine running Win7, and via VGA input to an older Micron machine running Win98SE. I use the monitor's "source" setting ...
5
votes
1answer
266 views

How can I output a blank line from a batch file on the Atari Portfolio?

I'm am trying to make a batch script on the Atari Portfolio which uses DIP DOS 2.11 (pretty similar to MS-DOS 2.11). I need to put a blank line in my file and it won't work. I have tried echo., echo/, ...
3
votes
1answer
128 views

Which extant ALGOL-60 compilers fully support numeric labels?

This question is prompted by a related one by texdr.aft. It turns out that the Revised report on Algol-60 allowed numeric labels (3.5.1, page 15), <label> ::= <identifier> | <unsigned ...
5
votes
2answers
338 views

Macro for counted string accepting multiple arguments?

Using ca65 assembler, I'd like to use a macro to encode a string as a pascal style string or FORTH counted string with a leading length byte. In ca65 documentation there is this example: ....
37
votes
4answers
11k views

Why do Game Boy games have explicit save functions, instead of using battery-backed non-volatile cartridge SRAM to store the game state?

Game Boy games used a battery-backed SRAM module for their save states. Since the SRAM module retains its whole content, why do Game Boy games always need a manual save operation? Wouldn't it be much ...
16
votes
4answers
3k views

Why does Pascal have numeric labels?

Pascal was intended, in part, to be a simple language to implement. Some of the design decisions reflecting this are Declarations/definitions must be given in a strict order (labels, constants, types,...
8
votes
2answers
724 views

DOSBox problem reading floppy boot sector using INT 0x13 on a drive mounted using MOUNT

I'm writing 16-bit boot sector code. It reads "sector 0" under VMware with all the fields, including the 0xaa55 sig, as expected but the same code copied to DOSBox under Win 8.1 (x64) reads ...
3
votes
1answer
200 views

Award BIOS error code meaning

I have a faulty Asus SP-97V Pentium motherboard. It doesn't boot, but it definitely takes power and does something. I plugged a PCI diagnostics card into it, and it shows error codes C0 or C1. It ...
1
vote
0answers
184 views

Problem with hackrom on real GBA cartridge

This is a problem that has brought me headaches, so I will try to explain as best as possible. I have flashed with a Gbxcart several GBA ROMs in real cartridges (repro), working without any problem, ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Protecting 6502 decimal mode code from interrupts

A common idiom in 6502 assembly code is to protect sequences of code that rely on decimal mode from being interrupted. This because an interrupt handler typically clears decimal mode (cld), and thus ...

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