Archive for the SpecOS Category

Well, that didn’t last :-)

Posted in SpecOS on August 20, 2010 by zxdunny

Went back to Windows 7 because the linux desktop really isn’t ready for the mainstream. They can’t even get font rendering right, and the mish-mash of UI toolkits makes any apps you run look very non-standard.

I’ll keep the Slackware partition, but I’ll not be back in linux for anything other than compiling my apps.

Speaking of which, SpecOS is going well:

That last one is particularly pleasing, if not exactly fast. Still, I worked out that a real spectrum would need to be using a 9GHz CPU in order to execute the same program at the same speed! I’m assuming that means that sinclair BASIC isn’t very efficient :-)

A year? Really? A year since I started this?

Posted in SpecOS with tags on December 12, 2009 by zxdunny

And about 9 months since my last post.

Ah well. Ok, BASin and ZXSpin are progressing well. Well, BASin is. ZXSpin is gradually being rewritten since Marko buggered off and left me to it. He’s taken the hump, cos he doesn’t seem to understand why his leaving the team upsets me. Ah well. He’s even gone so far as to hint that I might remove the assembler (and indeed, I suspect he probably would like to see all his code removed) but that’s not gonna happen this side of a court order :-)

The changes that I’ve implemented since all this seem to be going down well. The new scalers (both hardcoded and RPI) are well received, and the new aspect ratio code really does the business for people with widescreen monitors. I’m also quite chuffed at the new joystick code – supports all your buttons and your POV hat too!

Time for a break now.

So I need a new project :-)

A couple of years ago, I came up with a neat little idea. You see, I have this 486 laptop kicking around – and it wasn’t really doing anything useful. I mean, I had Win98 running on it, but that’s about it.

The one thing I don’t like about today’s computers is that you can’t just switch them on and bash out code. The Speccy let you do that (though only in BASIC) but there’s not even that on PCs nowadays. And they take too long to start.

So why not write me own? One that looks like a speccy, but is in fact a PC? With a nice 640x480x8bpp screen? And sprites? And stuff like that?

Well, that got shelved when I found that VGA wouldn’t give me what I wanted, and SVGA is a right arsehole of a system to code for. I’d got as far as a bootloader, 32bit PMode, a nice GDT/IDT setup… And then when I wanted to actually output something, it got suddenly very, very hard. Now, I’m not one to give up when things get rough. Not me. No, I go find someone else to do the hard part.

And I have :-)

A friend has popped up out of nowhere and said “you know that OS you were banging on about…”

So we shall see what happens. I’ll get updated details of how the OS will work, as soon as I have figured out what they are.

Ciao!