Cartridge games on floppy!

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Re: Cartridge games on floppy!

Postby Trixter » Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:12 pm

Hargle wrote:I should hand it over to Trixter so he can write a cool menu featuring PCjr graphics!


Sure thing, let me put it on my to-do pile (runs off to get extension ladder)
You're all insane and trying to steal my magic bag!
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Re: Cartridge games on floppy!

Postby GHiero » Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:04 pm

The new item menu currently has seven items and this space for two more on the same line, so I think that Mine Shaft and ColorPaint would be a perfect fit. The new image works very well in eliminating unnecessary disk accesses.

The issue with ScubaVenture and extraneous lines is still present, however. These lines will block the character, which puts an extra obstacle in his path. DOSBox 0.74 has the same issue, but it should have been fixed in the SVN, so I don't think it is a speed issue.
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Re: Cartridge games on floppy!

Postby Hargle » Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:34 am

I've played SV quite a bit while testing, and on my stock+jrIDE machine, I get no odd lines that show up during any portion gameplay.

I got mine shaft in last night and started working on color paint. I then decided to change the way my loader uses the floppy storage, so decided to change everything around. By the time I'm done, it will be extremely easy to add more carts, but there probably won't be any more carts we want to add. :)

Hoping to finish up tonight, unless color paint throws some major hurdles at me.
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Re: Cartridge games on floppy!

Postby GHiero » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:31 am

Hargle wrote:I've played SV quite a bit while testing, and on my stock+jrIDE machine, I get no odd lines that show up during any portion gameplay.

I got mine shaft in last night and started working on color paint. I then decided to change the way my loader uses the floppy storage, so decided to change everything around. By the time I'm done, it will be extremely easy to add more carts, but there probably won't be any more carts we want to add. :)

Hoping to finish up tonight, unless color paint throws some major hurdles at me.


My PCjr. is IBM upgraded with a parallel port, a speech adapter and an internal modem. I doubt that an IBM cartridge is likely to to work with IBM's own upgrades.

My current opinion is that the Tandy mod in my PCjr is causing the problem. The pcjr machine mode in DOSBox 0.74 acted as though it was little more than a Tandy with a machine ID byte changed, but in the current SVN it implements many of the differences between the video hardware of the two systems. In the svn change log, here are the appropriate revisions : r3647, r3735, r3788, r3789 & r3832.

r3735 implements a fix for ScubaVenture. According to the comments in the code accompanying that fix :


// CRT/processor page register

// Bit 0-2: CRT page PG0-2
// In one- and two bank modes, bit 0-2 select the 16kB memory
// area of system RAM that is displayed on the screen.
// In 4-banked modes, bit 1-2 select the 32kB memory area.
// Bit 2 only has effect when the PCJR upgrade to 128k is installed.

// Bit 3-5: Processor page CPU_PG
// Selects the 16kB area of system RAM that is mapped to
// the B8000h IBM PC video memory window. Since A14-A16 of the
// processor are unconditionally replaced with these bits when
// B8000h is accessed, the 16kB area is mapped to the 32kB
// range twice in a row. (Scuba Venture writes across the boundary)
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Re: Cartridge games on floppy!

Postby Hargle » Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:22 pm

release #4 is now available, updated link the on the first post.
mine shaft was added, as well as colorpaint. Sadly colorpaint doesn't work on a PCjr (at least mine) but it works fine in dosbox, which basically makes debugging the problem nigh impossible.

I have burned a few more hours on this than I wanted to, so its time to let it rest again. I've included the source code to the boot sector if anyone wants to play around with it.

have (more) fun!
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Re: Cartridge games on floppy!

Postby Hargle » Tue Mar 04, 2014 8:09 am

had a 3am thought today:
Is it possible that colorpaint refuses to start up if there is no mouse detected?

I don't have a mouse or a colorpaint cart to test with, so I'm at a loss as to why colorpaint just hangs when it is booted.
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Re: Cartridge games on floppy!

Postby GHiero » Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:53 pm

I tried my serial mouse with the PCjr.'s serial port, and the program did not boot :( I think the problem may be an conflict between the PCjr. BIOS and the ColorPaint program.

I am thinking that, based on the information in this thread, it may be better to work ColorPaint into a DOS 2.1 boot disk : http://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=9 ... nt#p328613
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Re: Cartridge games on floppy!

Postby Brutman » Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:23 pm

ColorPaint on a cartridge was *designed* for this machine - how could it be incompatible?

ColorPaint will start without a mouse connected. You can not use the keyboard to access the menu pulldowns, so if you don't have a mouse and you start it you are going to have to reboot the system.

Tested with DOS 3.3 booted from a jrIDE ...
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Re: Cartridge games on floppy!

Postby GHiero » Tue Mar 04, 2014 10:36 pm

Does ColorPaint work with anything other than a serial mouse? A joystick perhaps? The Microsoft Booster sidecar mouse? If not, I don't see how you could use the mouse and print from the Compact Printer, at the same time?
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Re: Cartridge games on floppy!

Postby Brutman » Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:08 am

How would that be a BIOS issue?

The requirements section on the software box clearly says "PCjr compatible serial interface mouse", so I think that answers the question. You do not load a mouse driver before running ColorPaint so it is talking directly to the mouse. There were a few major makers of mice at the time so I'm sure that it works with a few different mice - but it must be serial.

The bigger question is DOSBox - I'm assuming it has serial mouse emulation support.

As for running two devices at the same time - that is what a serial switch box is for. Serial is hot-plugable by design, so using a switch box is safe.
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