Mark Williams
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Are there any old and nowadays active Operating Systems which has only BASIC Programming Language?
0 votes

I read the question as asking if any modern computer operating system uses an interactive BASIC as its user interface. The Spectrum Next is a modern computer that is backwards compatible with the ...

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What 8-bit microcomputer systems multiplexed multiple physical ports on a single controller?
1 votes

The Amstrad CPC range multiplexes 2 joysticks onto a single Atari style 9 pin port by the simple expedient of having two common lines, one for each joystick. This allows each joystick to register 7 ...

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Mid 80's arcade top-down scrolling spaceship shooter with upgradable ship
0 votes

This sounds rather like Gemini Wing, and is the right time period. Screenshots are from http://www.shmups.com/reviews/geminiwing/index.html However, this game doesn't have the changing ship mechanic ...

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Are there any primary sources for the “passing constant by reference” behavior in old Fortran compilers?
5 votes

In the 1990s, I worked for a UK company (Polyhedron Software) that produced a suite of code analysis and refactoring tools for Fortran, marketed as PlusFort. The GXCHK module performed static analysis ...

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Why did the Rumble Pak for the Nintendo 64 require batteries when it actually apparently doesn't?
15 votes

According to Willis82 at https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/nintendo_64_forever/rumble-pak-mod-t6706.html Nintendo actually did this to kiosk rumble packs so shop owners wouldn't have to change ...

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Did Tomb Raider on Saturn have fewer save crystals than the PlayStation port?
4 votes

According to this website, https://segaretro.org/Tomb_Raider "The European Saturn version also have minor differences to level layouts (specifically some secret areas) because it was rushed to ...

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Why was the Amstrad CPC slow at scrolling
2 votes

Thanks to the excellent answers to this question, I have now learned that The Amstrad CPC did have hardware scrolling (vertically and horizontally) as well as double buffering and The ZX Spectrum had ...

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VIC20, VIC-20, or VIC 20?
12 votes

According to this 1983 Commodore catalogue it is VIC 20 with a space. The owner's manual also refers to the machine as VIC 20 with a space, though they seem to occasionally omit the space. I note ...

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What's wrong with SNES original controller's shoulder buttons?
9 votes

Looking at the pictures on iFixit, the two PCBs that fit behind the shoulder buttons don't seem to be reinforced by anything much: Excess pressure on the shoulder buttons might bend these boards ...

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How can I adapt a digital CGA/C128 signal (RGBI DE-9) to a modern monitor?
0 votes

The RGBtoHDMI interface converts the "digital" RGB video signal from vintage computers like the BBC Micro or PC MDA/CGA/EGA to HDMI or DVI compatible with most modern TVs/Monitors. The ...

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Why was the VT05 resolution 72×20?
2 votes

In the 1960s, many major languages such as FORTRAN and COBOL specified a line length of 72 characters. This was largely due to the limitations of the 80 column punch cards with which they had been ...

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

The sprites in the 1982 Arcade Game Xevious were designed by Shigeki Toyama on graph paper by hand. They were admired in the day for their appearance, but they look pretty simple compared to ...

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What other tricks were there to get more data onto floppy disks?
3 votes

Both Microsoft and IBM had their own distribution disk formats. Microsoft had DMF, which allowed the disk to contain 1680 KiB of data on a 3½-inch disk, instead of the standard 1440 KiB. It was used ...

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

This is a wiki answer, so please amend with additional solutions, or improve the ones below: CPC Tape Software Tape images are normally downloaded as a .cdt file, the same file format as the Spectrum ....

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How can I format a higher capacity 3 inch disc on a regular CPC6128?
1 votes

This is not yet a complete and verified answer, because I haven't tested it on real hardware. There is a utility by CNGSoft called '2H' (written in 2013) which claims a capacity of 208K, using 41 ...

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Amstrad CPC 6128 - Bench Power Supply Connection Setup
Accepted answer
6 votes

CPC Machines were powered by 5v DC from monitor to the 2.1mm socket on the machine. Any power supply that meets these requirements with the correct polarity should work. The plug has one outer and one ...

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Did the Commodore datasette interface provide greater reliability?
3 votes

I believe the datasette had the ADC built in, so it could then transmit digital signals to the computer. By optimising for digital output, the unit should have been more reliable, compared to a ...

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Writting DSK images onto a 3″ floppy for Amstrad/Sinclair computers
Accepted answer
11 votes

I used the dsk2cdt2disc tool to convert a .dsk image to a .cdt tape file. I can then play this tape file via an app (or convert it to audio data) and use a standard Amstrad tape cable to play the ...

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When and why did tape recorders acquire a "remote" input?
Accepted answer
12 votes

My father had a battery operated tape recorder bought in Singapore in the 1970s. Their appeal was that they were portable recording devices. A microphone with a long lead would plug into the mic and ...

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Were there any bitmap-based 8080 computers?
0 votes

Many UK home computers with Z80s had bitmapped displays. The Sinclair ZX Spectrum (1982) had a 1 bit per pixel bitmap that was transformed into a multi colour display by a separate array of attribute ...

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Why does the "Mesen-S" SNES emulator require a separate DSP ROM for Super Mario Kart, but *not* for Stunt Race FX?
3 votes

The source code for Mesen-S is available online at https://github.com/SourMesen/Mesen-S . I found the following code in https://github.com/SourMesen/Mesen-S/blob/master/Core/NecDsp.cpp : switch(type) {...

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Alternatives for TurboVision on DOS
0 votes

There was and is a GUI toolkit called Winteracter (http://winteracter.com/) for multiple Fortran compilers across Windows, *NIX and MacOS.

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Were there any games/software that used memory beyond what was advertised available to BASIC on the machine?
3 votes

On the Amstrad CPC machines, the bottom and top of the address space was taken up by the firmware and the Basic ROMs respectively, each taking 16Kb from the 64kb, leaving 32kb for the programs and OS ...

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How does the Spectrum +3 know whether a disk is bootable or not?
2 votes

On a CPC system, you can determine if the disc is in System format (i.e. bootable) by the number of the first physical sector. If the sector is 41h, the disc is in System format, with 2 reserved boot ...

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What is the earliest implementation of the stack data structure in C?
2 votes

My understanding is that the stack is provided at the architectural level, eg it is built in to the processor in the form of a stack pointer and relevant operators. It is not a language level concept, ...

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How do you play "The Sentinel"?
3 votes

Both you and the sentinel have height. You just need to get high enough that your square plus your height is above the sentinel's square. You can absorb anything standing on a square you can see.

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Did loadable levels for ZX-Spectrum games contain only graphics / game data, or executable code as well?
5 votes

Most games, eg Gauntlet, Leaderboard loaded level data from the tape or disc, but the code engine stayed the same. Some multi part games had separate games that were connected, eg Game Over, Freddie ...

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Did any computer allow overscan on a CRT monitor?
4 votes

The Amstrad CPC machines came with a CRT monitor. Some games included use of the overscan area (border). For example, Arkanoid drew into the top and bottom borders to create a taller play area.

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Copying tapes "back in the day"
2 votes

I had an Amstrad 464, which has an internal tape deck. It was quite common to copy tapes using a twin tape deck. Most portable 'ghetto blasters' in the mid 80s had two decks. Normally only one could ...

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What key factor led to the sudden commercial success of MS Windows with v3.0?
4 votes

TL;DR application support I worked for Microsoft in 1991, on their own version of OS/2. OS/2 was designed for the future, and was seen as the successor to DOS. It was never designed to be back ...

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