Search found 1094 matches

by Rich Talbot-Watkins
Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:19 pm
Forum: hardware
Topic: read / write to JIM
Replies: 28
Views: 526

Re: read / write to JIM

Just less intrusive I guess. It's plug 'n' play!
by Rich Talbot-Watkins
Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:38 am
Forum: software: classic games
Topic: Legacy of the BBC Micro User magazine / Database Publications Ltd
Replies: 12
Views: 602

Re: Legacy of the BBC Micro User magazine / Database Publications Ltd

Google tells me that apparently there was a "Hac Man 2", who was Ricky Delarre (co-author of Karma on the Archimedes, who lost his life in an motorbike accident). I must've moved on by then though - once the magazines had pretty much dropped the Beeb content and were focused entirely on RI...
by Rich Talbot-Watkins
Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:43 pm
Forum: software: classic games
Topic: Legacy of the BBC Micro User magazine / Database Publications Ltd
Replies: 12
Views: 602

Re: Legacy of the BBC Micro User magazine / Database Publications Ltd

While talking of the Micro User, does anyone know who the columnist Hac Man was? Was he a known name in the Acorn scene? Is he, in fact, on this forum?!
by Rich Talbot-Watkins
Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:35 am
Forum: software: classic games
Topic: Mini Office II disk protection (Split from: Legacy of the BBC Micro User magazine / Database Publications Ltd)
Replies: 16
Views: 197

Re: Legacy of the BBC Micro User magazine / Database Publications Ltd

Also, for reference, the offending tracks on Mini Office II had the following format Tr.# No.S Sec.# Tr.ID Head# SecID IDsiz REsiz Error 00 0A 00 00 00 00 0100 0100 OK 01 00 00 01 0100 0100 OK 02 00 00 06 0100 0100 OK 03 00 00 03 0100 0100 OK 04 00 00 04 0100 0100 OK 05 00 00 05 0100 0100 OK 06 00 ...
by Rich Talbot-Watkins
Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:24 am
Forum: software: classic games
Topic: Legacy of the BBC Micro User magazine / Database Publications Ltd
Replies: 12
Views: 602

Re: Legacy of the BBC Micro User magazine / Database Publications Ltd

(I split off the discussions on Mini Office II and its protection system into this topic.)
by Rich Talbot-Watkins
Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:35 pm
Forum: software: classic games
Topic: Mini Office II disk protection (Split from: Legacy of the BBC Micro User magazine / Database Publications Ltd)
Replies: 16
Views: 197

Re: Legacy of the BBC Micro User magazine / Database Publications Ltd

I think the disk format can be reproduced easily - just by specifying duplicate sector IDs in the format command. The difficulty is getting an 8271 to read it, as it uses the logical sector number, not the physical sector number, to match the requested sector ID. Just looking at the 8271 datasheet, ...
by Rich Talbot-Watkins
Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:54 pm
Forum: software: classic games
Topic: Mini Office II disk protection (Split from: Legacy of the BBC Micro User magazine / Database Publications Ltd)
Replies: 16
Views: 197

Re: Legacy of the BBC Micro User magazine / Database Publications Ltd

And track 0 has duplicated sector IDs! That's a more tricky one to defeat! I guess you need to sync with the index hole (how?) and read N-1 sectors (or perhaps, better, N-1 sector IDs), and then read the sector you want as a second step, now that the disk is more or less in the right place.
by Rich Talbot-Watkins
Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:10 pm
Forum: software: classic games
Topic: Mini Office II disk protection (Split from: Legacy of the BBC Micro User magazine / Database Publications Ltd)
Replies: 16
Views: 197

Re: Legacy of the BBC Micro User magazine / Database Publications Ltd

Kevin Edwards wrote:I doubt it had ANY protection on it.

Sorry, I was talking about Mini Office II (edited my other post for clarity)!

I remember I had a disc copying program (might've been Vector 2) which had a special option just for Mini Office II!
by Rich Talbot-Watkins
Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:51 pm
Forum: software: classic games
Topic: Mini Office II disk protection (Split from: Legacy of the BBC Micro User magazine / Database Publications Ltd)
Replies: 16
Views: 197

Re: Legacy of the BBC Micro User magazine / Database Publications Ltd

...and of course it had a famously evil disk protection system, which (as far as I know) you had nothing to do with! :D

(Mini Office II that is, don't think I've even heard of Micro Olympics!)
by Rich Talbot-Watkins
Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:25 pm
Forum: software: classic games
Topic: Mini Office II disk protection (Split from: Legacy of the BBC Micro User magazine / Database Publications Ltd)
Replies: 16
Views: 197

Mini Office II disk protection (Split from: Legacy of the BBC Micro User magazine / Database Publications Ltd)

(Split off from this post ) You can find more information about Database Publications / Europress here:- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Europress Playing 'follow the links' from that Wikipedia page led me here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mini_Office_II ...which contains this pioneering bit of 20th...
by Rich Talbot-Watkins
Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:49 pm
Forum: projects
Topic: Starting a Prince of Persia port...
Replies: 129
Views: 7884

Re: Starting a Prince of Persia port...

I still feel like there should be no need for the double buffer. Even if the player plot is 140 scanlines, and the save/restore background 40 scanlines each, that still comes within the frame budget - so with raster timing so that you start the erase when the beam hits the screen block to restore gi...
by Rich Talbot-Watkins
Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:55 am
Forum: software: classic games
Topic: Exile
Replies: 49
Views: 2988

Re: Exile

The article said "smooth scrolling screens", so I assume it was a verbatim quote from the press release. But the screenshot clearly shows a very early version (a good 5 months before release), with different scenery graphics and a different map. I think Exile was always designed from the b...
by Rich Talbot-Watkins
Fri Nov 03, 2017 2:58 pm
Forum: software: other
Topic: BeebAsm BASIC2 assembler O% equivalent?
Replies: 8
Views: 287

Re: BeebAsm BASIC2 assembler O% equivalent?

along these lines? I'll give it a whirl. Yeah I think that was pretty much the idea. It doesn't advance ORG though, so your .endrom will be in the wrong place - you'll need a SKIPTO if you want to skip over the copied block (maybe it'd be useful to have a version which copies a block to the current...
by Rich Talbot-Watkins
Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:46 pm
Forum: software: classic games
Topic: Exile
Replies: 49
Views: 2988

Re: Exile

Yeah, that's from here . From James Herriott, February 2002: In The Micro User, they had a screenshot of the game with a dog in it. Anyone know how this was supposed to fit in? I presumed it would be at the end of the game, but it wasn't. Anyone ever trawled through the Micro User scans from 1988 to...
by Rich Talbot-Watkins
Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:26 am
Forum: general
Topic: Who saw the BBC II Micro?
Replies: 8
Views: 324

Re: Who saw the BBC II Micro?

It's a bit of an embarrassing article, but I did laugh at this:
The Micro User, April 1984 wrote:The micro also supports a tunnel, which is an enlarged version of the tube. No manuals are available for this because it does not work.
by Rich Talbot-Watkins
Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:00 pm
Forum: software: other
Topic: BeebAsm BASIC2 assembler O% equivalent?
Replies: 8
Views: 287

Re: BeebAsm BASIC2 assembler O% equivalent?

I added a COPYBLOCK command ages back (which is apparently in the 1.08 release, though not documented). The idea was that you could assemble a bit of code in its correct location, then use COPYBLOCK start, end, destination_addr to relocate it to the new address. There may be problems to do with subs...
by Rich Talbot-Watkins
Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:49 pm
Forum: software: classic games
Topic: BBC Elite Which is the best version? Or do they differ?
Replies: 26
Views: 1551

Re: BBC Elite Which is the best version? Or do they differ?

Actually I don't think the Master version does double buffer! Fairly sure I remember seeing code in the main screen memory, and the shadow bank only used for the screen. (If it does double buffer, then there's absolutely no excuse for that flicker!) Just checked this, using the following highly pre...
by Rich Talbot-Watkins
Sat Oct 28, 2017 3:07 pm
Forum: software: classic games
Topic: BBC Elite Which is the best version? Or do they differ?
Replies: 26
Views: 1551

Re: BBC Elite Which is the best version? Or do they differ?

Actually I don't think the Master version does double buffer! Fairly sure I remember seeing code in the main screen memory, and the shadow bank only used for the screen. (If it does double buffer, then there's absolutely no excuse for that flicker!)
by Rich Talbot-Watkins
Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:47 pm
Forum: projects
Topic: Starting a Prince of Persia port...
Replies: 129
Views: 7884

Re: Starting a Prince of Persia port...

Nice work Kieran, it's really coming on well! Just to be clear, how is the sprite erasing currently working? Are you storing screen bytes before plotting the sprites, and then just copying them back over the top to erase? (i.e. a direct store, rather than the Exile type routine). I feel there must b...
by Rich Talbot-Watkins
Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:19 am
Forum: software: other
Topic: Double carriage return?
Replies: 16
Views: 450

Re: Double carriage return?

Well, this is the closest I can get: Screen.PNG Shift+Break the disc image to set up the stripey double-spaced mode, then LOAD "VATICAN" Note the line numbers have leading spaces as per normal, so this isn't exactly like the demo. I can only assume that was done with a custom VDU handler, ...
by Rich Talbot-Watkins
Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:13 pm
Forum: software: other
Topic: Double carriage return?
Replies: 16
Views: 450

Re: Double carriage return?

Well, one way to kind of do it is like this: MODE 6 VDU 19,0,4;0; ?&356=1 That adds the double spacing (basically makes the VDU drivers think that it's a 16k MODE with 640 bytes per character row), but don't let it scroll or it'll all go awry. But they're obviously doing something more sneaky th...
by Rich Talbot-Watkins
Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:23 pm
Forum: software: classic games
Topic: Exile
Replies: 49
Views: 2988

Re: Exile

I think it was definitely a 40/80 dual disk using that kind of technique. But it differed in having a total custom implementation of whatever OSFILE it is to load data. The catalog sector was deleted data in some higher track, and all the files were stored as deleted data with odd sector sizes, encr...
by Rich Talbot-Watkins
Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:24 am
Forum: software: classic games
Topic: Atic Atac: dodgy version in STH archive?
Replies: 39
Views: 7247

Re: Atic Atac: dodgy version in STH archive?

Rich, i didn't realize Nightshade only performed EOR operations on the data block. My bad, one of the first operations is an ADC, and then later there's a SBC. But what there isn't (unlike Alien8) is an EOR with the next byte of the encrypted block (EOR &E01,Y or equivalent). Not sure if that s...
by Rich Talbot-Watkins
Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:05 am
Forum: software: classic games
Topic: Exile
Replies: 49
Views: 2988

Re: Exile

Exile disk version had some pretty good protection as well (though, after the initial fairly trivial decrypter, it amounted to just putting some new filing system code in place via the vectors, after which you could simply *LOAD and *SAVE the files onto a clean disk!). I think the trickiness came wi...
by Rich Talbot-Watkins
Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:52 am
Forum: software: classic games
Topic: Atic Atac: dodgy version in STH archive?
Replies: 39
Views: 7247

Re: Atic Atac: dodgy version in STH archive?

Pernod wrote:The version I have doesn't contain the messages mentioned earlier in this thread, but it does have 'MJA OK' in the loader. Amazing how software circulated across the country pre-internet.

I started a thread about this a little while back, here!
by Rich Talbot-Watkins
Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:46 am
Forum: software: classic games
Topic: Atic Atac: dodgy version in STH archive?
Replies: 39
Views: 7247

Re: Atic Atac: dodgy version in STH archive?

So I'm still trying to fathom how Michael did it! Sounds like he did tackle each decoder one-by-one, as he peeled through the layers and found the disk formatter etc. So I'm wondering if there was some kind of loophole in the decryption system. Michael, it sounds a bit as if you zeroed the encoded b...
by Rich Talbot-Watkins
Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:56 am
Forum: software: classic games
Topic: Exile
Replies: 49
Views: 2988

Re: Exile

When I've heard of this in the past, the original developer has intervened, outing those complaining about the 'bugs' as a pirate.

e.g. Arkham Asylum from here:
http://www.cracked.com/article_19162_6- ... rates.html
by Rich Talbot-Watkins
Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:44 pm
Forum: software: classic games
Topic: Unusual tape loaders
Replies: 16
Views: 1240

Re: Unusual tape loaders

Pro Boxing Simulator from Codemasters was a retitled re-release, which has the same loader! Edit: Ha, due to a bug in jsbeeb, it hangs once it's loaded. Oh well, try it in B-Em if you actually want to play it afterwards... Edit 2: Actually that's weird code. It's setting up the transmit baud rate, ...
by Rich Talbot-Watkins
Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:07 pm
Forum: software: classic games
Topic: Unusual tape loaders
Replies: 16
Views: 1240

Re: Unusual tape loaders

Actually, By Fair Means Or Foul has an interesting tape loader. It also goes for the 'big block of data' approach, but it's broken into blocks too, and will prompt you to rewind the tape a small amount if it detects an error. The stream format is basically: * start of block marker * file number * bl...
by Rich Talbot-Watkins
Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:00 pm
Forum: software: classic games
Topic: Exile
Replies: 49
Views: 2988

Re: Exile

A good 20 years ago now, I worked on a game on the Playstation called Medievil. Sony had just introduced a library called Libcrypt, which took advantage of the fact that the Playstation hardware could read raw data from CDs, and that all releases were mastered with deliberately incorrect correction ...

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