Sunday, November 30, 2014

One Year

Birthdays, birthdays, birthdays! Today is celebrating it's first anniversary. In just one year, this fast-growing Russian language site has become the largest chiptune resource on the web. Congratulations on this outstanding achievement.

[demo] Wonderball by introspec & triebkraft

Birthday prods are usually not exactly a highlight. This new ZX Spectrum release is quite an execption though, I'd say. Made for well-known Russian coder diver by introspec, with music by Luchi Bobra of triebkraft.

Download and discuss here.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

40 Years Altair 8800

40 years ago, Popular Electronics revealed the Altair 8800. The machine was developed by Edward Roberts of MITS. Kits were offered at 397$, and fully assembled machines at 498$, beating current contenders by a large margin.

Roberts had anticipated to sell a few hundred kits throughout the following year. Instead, he had 1000 orders on his desk by February 1975, and by August had sold over 5000 units. The microcomputer craze had started.

ENIAC on Public Display Again

After years of being hidden from public view, a big portion of the ENIAC has been restored and is on public displays again. Even though the set isn't complete, and there are some doubts about the quality of the restoration, this is nevertheless exiting news.

The exhibit is on display at the Field Artillery Museum in Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

Read the full story on Wired. (A side note: Dear Wired, no matter how often you repeat it, ENIAC is the world's first fully electronic computer, not the world's first computer in general - depending on the definition, that honour goes to the Zuse Z3, the Colossus, or even the ABC.)

Friday, November 28, 2014

SGDK 1.00 / XGM Music Driver for Sega Megadrive

SGDK, the Sega Megadrive/Genesis Development Kit, has reached version 1.00. With it comes an exiting new music driver called XGM. It supports 4 channels of PCM playback at 14 KHz along with the usual 5x FM, 4x PSG channels. Programmers will also be happy to know that it runs entirely on the Z80, leaving the 68000 free for game/demo logic.

SGDK comes with a utility called xmgtool, which can be used to convert .vgm files to the format required by the XGM driver.

A test rom with various sound examples can be found here. More info is available on the SGDK project page.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

30 Years 'Hackers' by Steven Levy

This month it's been 30 years since Stephen Levy's book 'Hackers' was published. Arguably one of most influencial works on the subject, 'Hackers' introduced the principle of "hacker ethic". Still as fresh as it was 30 years ago:
  • Access to computers should be unlimited and total.
  • Always yield to the Hands-On Imperative
  • All information should be free.
  • Mistrust authority – promote decentralization.
  • Hackers should be judged by their hacking.
  • You can create art and beauty on a computer.
  • Computers can change your life for the better.
Read more about the book on wikipedia, or check out the first two chapters here.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

[contest] Famicompo Pico Announced

Bitpuritans have announced a new NES/Famicom music compo, with what is arguably the most epic compo announcement ever:

Details can be found at

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sustainable Chipmusic - New Thesis by Jansaw

Matthew "Jansaw" Janik has shared his thesis on chipmusic (or low resolution art, as he elegantly calls it). With its strong focus on networking and social dynamics, the paper sheds some light on aspects of the scene that haven't necessarily been in the spotlight so far. Overall it's pretty solid work and worth the read in my opinion.

The paper is available here.

Friday, November 14, 2014

[album] Sinapse by Pulselooper

Today's featured release brings us into calmer, yet no less dark and beautiful realms. In other words: New Pulselooper album, yay! Sinapse is his 10th release, composed over the course of two years on Gameboy Advance.

I believe this is the perfect soundtrack for a misty Autumn evening (even though it's summer in Brazil right now).

Don't miss the excellent promo video either:

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

[album] s/t by I Am Your Destruction

Greetings from the dark&heavy end of the Gameboy music spectrum! Four years after his last release, IAYD is finally back with his first full-length album. Extreme!

A limited edition CD is also available on the bandcamp page.

Ancient Wonderworld Reaches 10k Views

Ancient Wonderworld reached 10,000 page views yesterday. This may not seem like much, but I think it's quite an achievement for a small, highly personal and subjective blog. A big thanks to everybody who has been following.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Ján Deák Passed Away

With great regret I have to announce that Ján Deák, one of the most talented programmers in the ZX Spectrum scene, has passed away this weekend aged 46.

Ján was perhaps best known for his multi-channel beeper engines. With his 8-track ZX-7 music editor, he was the record holder for most channels in a 1-bit engine for over 2 decades. As recently as in March this year, he returned to the Spectrum scene after many years of absence to reclaim his title with the groundbreaking 16 channel routine ZX-16. As a member of Slovakia's Bytepack team, he was also involved in the production of several games such as Pick Out 2, Šach-mat, and Tetris 3.

I have only known Ján briefly through online and email conversations, but I'm nontheless deeply saddened and shocked by the news. My condolences go out to his family and friends.

TMDC17 Textmode Demo Compo Announced

The 17th round of the Text Mode Demo Contest (TMDC) starts today. Works can be submitted until December 12th. As the name suggests, this is a competition for textmode prods only. Minor bummer: Only Windows and MS-DOS demos are allowed.

Read about the details and submit your works at

The lovely invite by bawlz can be found on pouet.

Monday, November 10, 2014

[demo] Unlimited Bobs by French Touch

Unlimited Bobs - now available on Apple //e.

Download and discuss here.

Status Update: Prodigy Tracker

Work on Prodigy Tracker (formerly known as YMDJ) is coming along nicely, it seems. Here's a video showcasing the latest progress on the new native Sega Megadrive/Genesis tool:

For those willing to fund the development, here's a Paypal link.

Latest updates on the project can be found in this thread.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

[demo] Zerofx by Defence Force

A little intro for the Oric computer. Ranked first at Kindergardens' oldskool demo compo this weekend. Overall a rather simple prod, but considering it's so rare to see anything made for that platform it deserves a thumb up anyway, I think.

Download and discussion here.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

FuzixOS - A New Unixoid OS for Z80 Machines

Legendary Linux developer Alan Cox has released a new UNIX-flavoured operating system for Z80-based computers.

Although the project is currently in a very early stage, the OS already boots on suitable machines and is ready for testing purposes. Fuzix is designed to be portable, and test builds of the core code have already been done for 6502 and 6809 processors as well.

Read more about this exiciting project here.

The source code can be found on github.