Monday, 21 November 2011

I got the key, I got the secret

In a recent spate of QL'ing an interesting thing has turned up when using Qemulator on the MAC OSX 

I recently purchased a MACBook PRO and running Qemulator I find that the keyrow function does not work at all but the inkey$ does :(

I use this simple program to test, but to no avail, the key character and code number crop up but no key row numbers.

10130 CLS
10140  REPeat loop
10150   CURSOR 0,100
10160    FOR f=0 TO 7
10170     PRINT "Keyrow ";f,KEYROW(f);"   "
10180    NEXT f
10190    A$=INKEY$
10200    IF A$=CHR$(27) THEN EXIT loop
10210   PRINT "   Key - ";A$;"  ";CODE(A$);"   "
10220  END REPeat loop

The next thing I tried was on my iMAC which is about three years old and hey presto the same program works perfectly, and it registers the keys, function ones (F1 etc.) as well as reporting appropriate numbers.

Both systems are running OSX Lion

So what is happening, why should the Laptop erghhmmn, 'the Macbook' keyboard be any different to the iMAC. Very very strange indeed.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

The first time

Well no surprises here, these are the first few lines of the boot program, for me I like to have the full screen regardless of size, 512x256 being the minimum, but what of the maximum hmmnn.

QPC2 provides a couple of extensions scr_xlim and scr_ylim(without looking it up the exact syntax), however the basic QL emulated or not doesn't. So what assumptions can I make? well the best I can hope for is TK2.

Therefore the first few lines will be:

100 REMark ASAD Boot program by L. Privett
110 REM Should run on all systems 
120 :
130 SetAddin
140 SetDisplay
150 SetDrives
160 :
170 Main
180 : 
9000 DEFine PROCedure SetAddin
9010  TK2_EXT
9020 END DEFine
9030 :
9100 DEFine PROCedure SetDisplay
9110 REMark Assume nothing
9120  W=512 :changing this later
9130  H0=26 :H1=230 :changing this later
9140 REMark I0 etc to go here
9150 REMark P0 etc. to here
9160  WINDOW #0,0,0,W,H0  :INK#0,I0 :PAPER#0,P0
9160  WINDOW #1,0,0,W,H1  :INK#1,I1 :PAPER#1,P1
9160  WINDOW #2,0,H0,W,H1 :INK#2,I2 :PAPER#2,P2
9170  CLS#2 :CLS#1 :CLS#0

9190 END DEFine
9200 :

more next time

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Simple Minds

In trying to start a QL project, especially being out of the QL loop (so to speak), it is easy to get distracted by all the developments past and present relating to the QL. It is new information after all. 

One such project is the re-coding of a past programme I no longer have the original code for. Although the programme does exist, it does not work on modern hardware or emulation very well. This is mainly due to speed and the associated issues involved around the QL speed.

The decision then is to start from scratch, however with multiple QL systems, screen sizes, colour ranges etc. the first is to design for either one system only or all systems (if it is feasible possible).

Practically very difficult, you have to start somewhere  so the first 'pre-project' is to see if it is possible to create an all encompassing 'boot' program that will run on 'all' systems.

What does it need to have to take into account in order for the one BOOT file to run on the original QL, Qemulator, QPC2, uQLx, Aurora, Gold Card, SuperGold Card?

(this is first attempt)

  • Does the Boot need to know its ROM?
  • Will Boot need a minimum in excess of 128K Memory?
  • Will Boot need to know the screen size
  • The drive it is loaded from?
  • The mode it is in, hence the colours available for use

Once these questions are answered then the next stage would be to cover specific needs for display. This would include things such as text size and style, house style for any windowing, logo maybe.

More next time... 

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Now that I've found you

How I missed this one I do not know but another Blogger publishes slightly different information about the QL to this one.

If your a QL fan (and this person obviously is), then give this blog a look and follow as well, as I do now, however I found it by accident this very day while checking my own blogs stats :)

I now have some more reading to do to catch up on what has been written there.

Quantum Leap?

This is very very cool (sic)

you must watch it all

What I really like is one of the comments

This is amazing!! Anything with the word 'Quantum' in it is guaranteed to be cool :P
mastergeodude 1 hour ago
Quantum Leap anyone

Celebrate good times come on

My 65th post here I thought this would be partly relevant (64). While waiting for developments in hardware to come along (re: RasPi), I notice this on the web. Now it is more expensive but it is also ever so ever so tempting, as most of it is already done for you. 

In two flavours, the first is a 8 bit replica from the early eighties the Commodore 64, this available running Linux, so possibly running the QL emulator software such as uQLx which would be cool in its own right (a bit pricy at $349 [£219] for the base machine)

but the website also sports another keyboard called the Commodore VIC Slim, sorry did I say keyboard, I meant computer, recognise the design style? It's black, it's a computer, it's an all in one keyboard sized box that can run QDOS and SuperBASIC (emulated of course) hmmmnn a QL?.
A little dearer at $399 [£250] but cheaper than the original QL at £399 :)