28th of October 2019 – Whats up III?

Gee – time runs by. Haven’t posted for 2 months now.

Somehow the inspiration/time was missing – or I just didn’t feel like posting. Whatever – I’ll just give a short summary of my doings, and leave it for now. There will be a time when I am more inspired.

I did a couple of bugfixes, but haven’t released another beta yet. Most recently I added (with the help of Thomas) code to do high score saving to the VecFever. This was somewhat new territory, because the need of a different format. Vectorblade is a 4 * 48kB game and can only be played on the VecFever with a special (new) firmnware version (v1.21) and an additional (IRQ-) wire. The new saving mechanism invented by Thomas treats part of the address space as “write only memory” (shadowram) – which with a special VecFever function call can be copied and made visible to the “rom” space.
As of now this only works for the upper 16kB banks (of 48kB) – communicating the protocoll needed and sources via email took us about 50-60 eMails in the last week… but now it is running fine.
The VecFever-Vectorblade will be a different binary than the normal Vectorblade, since I had to regroup memory regions – but in the source it only is of “if VECFEVER =1” …

Another thing, I finalized the diary:

The diary will be included as a printed “booklet” with Vectorblade. Printing is already done!

The overlay is allegedly at the printer – and might be printed.

First designs of the Box have been seen, but those are quite beta and will most probably change.

Last but not least, I started with the instruction manual.

I discovered another cranky feature on my new cranky Vectrex. If you zero the integrators (not ~ZERO! – but put a 0 value into VIA_port_a) – than often an additional wait of 1-2 cycles is necessary, otherwise it is not set to 0. Unwanted diagonal vectors can occur. I have not fully explored this and not documented, so this just as small side note.

I feel bad about this – I sort of promised Graham to go fully back into PiTrex after my holiday – but some urgent VB problems occured and somehow I got stuck. No, I haven’t done anything yet :-(. And I am already 2 weeks overdue. It will be at least another 1 1/2 weeks – I’ll have a short weekend trip to Paris incoming… so nothing before that. I am sorry!

A new Vide release should be done soon, nothing grand – but I fixed a couple of bugs, some obvious some not so… One of these days…

I added a couple of pages to the Vide site. Under Vectrex programs (and the menu) you can find collected new and old games with information where to get them, even sometimes a review etc…
These pages are far from finished. Probably half way thru – but basically I want to list all vectrex programs there…

Also I posted this only on Facebook – I changed the javascript version of vecX to be able to run Vectorblade, see: http://vectrex.malban.de/vecxWeb

(It by far doesn’t look perfect – but you get a good first impression, some of the fixes include:
– corrected the SHIFT Bug
– implemented 48kB ROM support
– implemented IRQ/PB6 bankswitching
– implemented R/C law zero reference)

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One thought on “28th of October 2019 – Whats up III?

  1. Chris Parsons

    Great to see an update Malban 🙂

    That box artwork, etc. looks bloody great, cannot wait to get this in hand… and the overlays being printed… that’s not “that bad” a wait considering… they will be fantastic quality and clarity.

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