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0answers
18 views

Reading data of floppies from a ZX Spectrum Swift disk

Back in the day we had a sixword swiftdisk we were ahead of the game on our speccy allowing us to us 3.5inch floppy disks. See: https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/swift-disc-interface-zx-spectrum-...
2
votes
2answers
175 views

How did 1980's 8 bit video game coders create realistic fireballs and explosions?

Back in the 1980's, I tried my hand at programming video games, mostly using Atari's player/missle system which used sprites. I could freehand draw most sprites but couldn't come close to the animated ...
5
votes
3answers
773 views

When was the phrase “sufficiently smart compiler” first used?

In discussions and arguments about programming language design, one often hears comments about "sufficiently smart" compilers, as in "X needn't be inefficient, since a sufficiently ...
4
votes
8answers
2k views

Were there any computers that did not support virtual memory?

Were there any computers that did not support virtual memory? if yes, were these computers able to run multiple processes at the same time? By “virtual memory” I mean when a process would want to ...
1
vote
1answer
233 views

Time to generate an asymmetric key on a 6800 or 8086?

I have a historical question. PGP has been around since 1991-ish. At that time, there were still some 8086 kicking around. How long would it take generate a 1024 bit (or whatever the 1991 standard was)...
8
votes
1answer
4k views

Did any PS1 games use 640x480?

I'm used to the idea that the maximum resolution there was any point in trying to generate on NTSC TV sets was about 320x224 (or 240 as a compromise figure between NTSC and PAL), but according to ...
2
votes
1answer
306 views

What precision did the original PlayStation use?

The PlayStation 1 performed all calculations in fixed point. On the face of it, this is straightforward enough; it couldn't afford floating-point hardware, which was introduced only later, with the ...
6
votes
2answers
615 views

How to mount Macintosh Performa's HFS (not HFS+) Filesystem

I own a Macintosh Performa 360 and 420 with a 250 MB drive. Currently I plan about migrating to a modern system like Windows Linux or Mac. I could make sure, that I can still read my data, copied to a ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the largest single file that can be loaded into a Commodore C128?

What is the largest single file that can be loaded into a C128 using standard Kernal functions (i.e., LOAD, DLOAD, BLOAD). Is it possible to load more than 64kB by overflowing to Bank 1?
0
votes
1answer
192 views

What does the DAA instruction do?

The 6502 has the decimal mode, which causes the ALU to always output valid BCD if it's given valid BCD. Of course, you can turn it off, as any sane person always does. I was just looking at the ...
5
votes
1answer
280 views

Dump process memory of Windows 3.1 control panel applet

I'm trying to work out how a Control Panel applet on Windows 3.1, which interacts with some host-specific hardware, works and as part of this I'd like to dump the contents of memory which the process ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Did any CPU ever expose load delays?

There have been CPUs with exposed branch delays, such as early MIPS: What was the first CPU with exposed pipeline? (Later MIPS kept the delay slots from the early MIPS, though by that time, it wasn't ...
3
votes
0answers
82 views

Use MAME debugger for Amiga software [closed]

I have used the MAME debugger a lot with arcade machine emus. Now I would like to use it to help debug a game I build for Amiga. Having set up A500 emulation in MAME by adding the roms, I can start it,...
4
votes
0answers
133 views

What percentage of DVD forum royalties did Sony get?

A slightly arcane question that I think is relevant to a chapter of the history of game consoles whose dynamics I'm trying to understand. In the mid-nineties, several companies were developing optical ...
11
votes
2answers
552 views

Extending C128D Keyboard cable

I need to make a 25 pin Sub-D extension cable for my C128D keyboard. I think it may be as easy as connecting male pins from one side to corresponding female pins on the other side, but need ...
4
votes
0answers
150 views

Scaling compute times to a Pentium III 700 MHz [closed]

According to a competition programming site, where users can submit single source files to be compiled and run, "programs are run on a modern processor but times are scaled to a 700 MHz Pentium ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

How can a Z80 assembly program find out the address stored in the SP register?

I'm wondering how to write a program in Z80 assembler that discovers the value stored in the SP register. From what I've seen, the only instructions that touch the SP register are: LD SP, HL/IX/IY EX ...
4
votes
3answers
504 views

What are quick ways to load downloaded tape images onto an unmodified 8-bit computer?

There are repositories of tape software available online, for example CPC Power for Amstrad CPC machines. What is the fastest and simplest way to load such games onto an unmodified computer, with the ...
15
votes
1answer
5k views

How did SNES render more accurate perspective than PS1?

The PlayStation was notorious for texture warp, because it didn't have the transistor budget to implement perspective: Why do 3D models on the PlayStation 1 “wobble” so much? But wait a minute. The ...
5
votes
0answers
277 views

Why was the Nintendo 64 bad at textures?

The Nintendo 64 had a reputation for being great at drawing triangles, but not so good at texturing them, so that many games fell back on heavy use of untextured (though Gouraud shaded) triangles, ...
5
votes
2answers
411 views

How fast was Rambus compared to regular EDO RAM?

The Nintendo 64 used Rambus RDRAM. This was an unusual choice, e.g. the PlayStation used regular EDO RAM which I gather most consoles and computers did at the time. As I understand it, Nintendo chose ...
36
votes
4answers
9k views

What causes that “organic fade to black” effect in classic video games?

This happens a lot on older consoles than this, but for this specific example, I'm picking what I spotted today: Harvest Moon for PlayStation. Here is a screenshot of the player just about to exit an ...
17
votes
3answers
4k views

How to detect a real Commodore 64, THEC64, or VICE emulator in software?

Some programs notice if they are run on a real Commodore 64 or an emulator. For example, this demo from 2007 stops on VICE emulator 3.2 with the message "No VIC inside". How is this done? I ...
2
votes
1answer
110 views

What kinds of input/output devices could the Electrologica X1 interface with (simultaneously)?

Here is a brief survey of the literature that I know of/have access to: The most complete description of the X1 that I am aware of is given in Dijkstra's 1959 PHD thesis, which describes in detail ...
6
votes
2answers
185 views

How to get Terminate running in DOSEMU on recent machines? [duplicate]

When trying to run http://www.terminate.com/ under http://www.dosemu.org/, I get Runtime Error 200. I know that this is a well known issue with software compiled with Turbo / Borland Pascal and using ...
4
votes
0answers
205 views

Did any SNES games use the fast ROM?

According to the transcript at https://fabiensanglard.net/another_world_polygons_SNES/ ... I could get the software running again to run at about 30 frames per second if of course I'm using a fast ...
4
votes
2answers
192 views

Did the Nova use the 74181 or 9340 or are they the same?

I am reading over the history of the Nova, which claims that a key moment in its creation was a 4-bit ALU which was shown to them by their Fairchild sales rep. I assume this refers to the 9340? But ...
3
votes
0answers
224 views

What data compression did Donkey Kong Country use?

Donkey Kong Country was among the most ambitious, popular and influential of Super Nintendo games. Technically, its big trick was taking animations rendered on Silicon Graphics workstations and ...
6
votes
3answers
520 views

Was X.25 solely about the connection from the DTE to DCE link?

So I'm having a good bit of trouble understanding this protocol. Many resources seem to compare it to modern networking protocols in some way, while others, including the specification, seem to refer ...
5
votes
1answer
335 views

Are there any 1980's video chips still available besides the TMS9918?

The TMS9918 is still available, which is nice. But are there any other (better) video chips still on the (after-)market in any numbers? Obviously Commodore's VIC-II is not one of them.
19
votes
2answers
5k views

Why didn't SNES Doom use mode 7?

Doom was ported to the Super Nintendo using a Super FX 2 chip on the cartridge. It has most of the features of the full game, though with a few omissions, such as absence of sound propagation, ...
3
votes
1answer
248 views

Did the Nintendo S-SMP really contain 3 million transistors?

According to http://www.vgmpf.com/Wiki/index.php?title=S-SMP The S-SMP (perhaps: Sony - Sound & Music Processor?) is the audio CPU used by the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. It consists of ...
4
votes
1answer
351 views

Why do NPC party members often “get stuck” when following the player?

Many games (such as Breath of Fire III for the PlayStation) have computer-controlled characters as members of your party. When you walk around the game, the others in the party follow your footsteps, ...
6
votes
1answer
318 views

Did the Saturn fail because of game distribution issues?

The Sega Saturn sold only nine million units, well short of the ambition with which Sega launched it, and as it would turn out, well short of what was needed to ultimately keep the company in the ...
26
votes
5answers
3k views

What really is a sound card driver in MS-DOS?

To my knowledge, neither MS-DOS nor BIOS offers any kind of API for sound cards. Therefore the concept of a "driver" is absent, as we know it today. Apart from accessories and sample files ...
31
votes
3answers
4k views

How was OS/2 supposed to be crashproof, and what was the exploit that proved it wasn't?

I seem to remember that IBM claimed one of its versions of OS/2 was crashproof. I believe they specifically said it was "crashproof" or some similar term to indicate that it would never ...
4
votes
2answers
166 views

What does HP Omnibook 300 error code 0302h mean?

(p. 70 in the Service manual)
5
votes
1answer
283 views

Bank switching and memory perspectives (C64)

I've been reading up on bank switching on Wiki and in particular here which contains the below nice image and have a few questions: Am I right in thinking that LOAD loads into RAM (dark grey in the ...
10
votes
3answers
946 views

Make the “z80asm” assembler place an instruction at a known memory address

I'm writing a very basic OS for my homebrew Z80 computer. As an absolute assembly language beginner, I managed to obtain a working "os plus memory monitor" that can show memory content and ...
2
votes
0answers
232 views

Ancient browser media photo [closed]

Perhaps 15 years ago, I saw a photo which looked professional showing multiple media types all with labels for either Netscape v4 or the integrated Mozilla suite (which became SeaMonkey). At the very ...
1
vote
2answers
362 views

Why the 50/60Hz speed rule didn't apply for arcades but did for consoles?

Take the NES, the Super NES and say, the PlayStation, they all have something in common : games on PAL regions were about 16.7% slower than their NTSC counterpart. Now if on you play an arcade game, ...
4
votes
0answers
115 views

Is there any way to obtain the abandonware 1994 original release of Klik & Play in non-English, non-“For Schools” versions?

In the mid-1990s, I purchased a Swedish boxed copy of v1.0 (I believe) of Klik & Play in a computer store. Since that, the floppies have died and I stupidly even threw away the entire big box and ...
4
votes
5answers
557 views

Are there any good resources on emulating/simulating early computing input/output?

Note: I hope this question is on topic. I'm not sure where else to put it. There are several tutorials available online for writing emulators/simulators. Unfortunately they all seem to focus on ...
4
votes
1answer
157 views

Basic / Assembler startup code (C64)

I'm just creating my own .prg file using NCurses Hexeditor in Ubuntu which I load using load"file.prg",8 in Vice. I followed the information in this link explaining how to create a .prg file....
5
votes
1answer
194 views

Were pinball machines in the 1990s and earlier really “pay to win”? [closed]

As I'm playing the "Terminator 2" pinball machine (early 1990s) in my pinball simulator, and I just press 5 and 4 a bunch of times to insert digital coins into the digital pinball machine, I'...
10
votes
3answers
797 views

Why does an Amiga's floppy drive keep clicking?

I seem to remember that an A500 (probably A600 too) would keep emitting a click from the floppy drive. I think this was only with no disk in the drive, but I'm not sure. What was that?
14
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the name of this computer? (Bell Laboratories, 1954)

Science Photo Library says that this photograph of Claude Shannon was taken in Bell Laboratories in 1954. What is the name of the computer behind him?
4
votes
3answers
252 views

Was imported software for computers as common as it was for consoles?

In the 90s and in Western countries, you were able to buy import software for pretty much every video game system, for instance, Super Nintendo, Mega Drive, PC Engine, PlayStation and so on. To run ...
4
votes
1answer
136 views

How much RAM was sold each year in the 1970s?

I'm trying to get an idea of the quantitative parameters of the computer industry in the era that saw the rise of personal computers. Of course, the industry as a whole was old by then; companies like ...
16
votes
2answers
644 views

What process node were 4k and 16k DRAMs first made at?

In the history of computers, much is said of microprocessors, for good reason, but the relatively unsung RAM chips were equally important. Of particular significance were the 4kbit and 16kbit dynamic ...

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