Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Friday, December 13, 2013

Daily Dosis: Ali shanbehzadeh by Logosamphia

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Goto80 & Raquel Meyers Live at Dataslöjd Göteborg

Instead of Daily Dosis, let's watch something nice today:

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Amiga RPI Drive: A RaspPi Based Amiga Floppy Replacement

Italian Amiga enthousiast Maurizio Ramondo has developed this nice contraption, which basically turns your Raspberry Pi into an SD-card based replacement for the internal Amiga 500 floppy drive. Seems like a cheap and reasonably simple-to-build alternative for a mass storage solution indeed.

Daily Dosis: The Secret of Monkey Island OST (PC Speaker) by Michael Land

Soundchips are overrated ;)

Friday, November 29, 2013

PC Atari 2600 Cartridge Reader by keoni29

Just a demo video for now, but more info will be available here soon, I suppose.

Daily Dosis: LaMort,LaDestruction by celomalabit

Some of you might have already noticed that I usually post hardstyle music at the start of the weekend. If you don't enjoy this kind of stuff, then don't klick the play button on Friday in the future :)

STj Updated

It's been a while... gwEm has revised his 2xAtari ST SNDH player/DJ software STj, bringing it up to version 1.40. The update brings a few minor interface changes, as well as a couple of bugfixes. For a full changelog, see here.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Daily Dosis: Opanowanie Świata by Jakub Husak

Thanks to Mister Beep for pointing out this wonderful Pokey softsynth track from the year 1988 to me.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Daily Dosis: Mars Commando - Menu (OST) by fluidvolt

Monday, November 25, 2013

Daily Dosis: Sofa Clan by Zan-zan-zawa-veia

Sunday, November 24, 2013

"Computer Chess" Mocumentary Out Now

Computer Chess, a much hyped independent comedy/mocumentary revolving around a computer chess tournament in the 1980s, has been released for home audiences recently, after doing well at this year's Sundance Festival.

I have yet to see the full movie, so I won't comment on it in detail for the time being. However from the bits that I have seen so far, I'd say the humor is a bit too much in the "awkward/WTF" fashion that is so en vogue lately. And while critics almost universally praised the movie, audience response has been rather ambiguous so far.

Well, if AI and computer history are your thing, then I guess you'll be checking this out anyway. (I surely will, in case you're wondering.)

For everybody else, my recommendation is to wait a bit before buying the film. Instead, check out this subject related article on BBC News first.

If you have seen the movie already, please comment to share your thoughts on it.

Daily Dosis: The New New Real Real Folk Blues by Bud Melvin

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Final Fantasy VII (NES) Revisited

In 2005 a Chinese pirate company named ShenZhen Nanjing Technology released an unlicensed port of Final Fantasy VII for the NES. It was barely playable, and was universally panned by the gaming community.

However, over the past four years a ROM hacker named Lugia2009 laboriously revisited the code. Now we finally get to enjoy the fruits of his work - a completely reworked FF VII for the NES that is largely faithful to the original. Being a huge fan of the FF series myself, I'm quite happy to hear the news.

The hack comes in form of a patch, so you'll need the "original" ROM as well. 

Below you'll find a WIP gameplay video from the end of last year, which should give you a rough idea of what to expect.

Ahh crap, too much Nintendo this week. Oh well, this is still a pirate game, so I guess that's ok ;)

Daily Dosis: Galactic Coursing by Mister Beep

1 bit to rule them all.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Ataventure by DMA (Atari 2600)

KK of DMA tries out the Atari 2600? Well, this can't be good, can it? Let's take a look... (Word of advice: You may want to be seated before watching this).

Released at Sillyventure 2013.

info and download

Daily Dosis: World Will Travel, Oh So Quickly by Ovenrake

So what happened to Superbutton? They kind of just disappeared silently. Think I'm gonna post some more SB tracks in the future, so as to honor the legacy of what was once one of the most well known chip netlabels.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Daily Dosis: Time Trax OST (Genesis/MD) by Tim Follin

Chipmusic Presentation at TEDxBuffalo

Here's a video of Danimal Cannon giving a talk on Chipmusic at TEDxBuffalo.
Well, if you're reading this blog, you probably know what Chipmusic is. But this presentation is so well done, I just had to share it. Besides, there's a nice live performance in it, too.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Unreversable by Masters of Electric City (Atari ST)

And now it's time for another jaw dropper from Sillyventure 2k13. This one goes out to all the ASCII art lovers. Third place in the Atari ST 96k compo, here is Unreversable by Masters of Electric City.


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Daily Dosis: beach by Covolux

Bye-bye 8x8 Color Grid: Nirvana Engine for ZX Spectrum Released

The Spectrum's inability to display more than two colors in a 8x8 pixel block has made it an easy target for ridicule, especially by disciples of a certain US-Amercian machine. Well, my dear friends of the big C=, those days are over. While you are still staring at your depressing grey-in-grey palette*, ZX Spectrum fans are now enjoying screens such as this one:

Yes, that's what Einar Saukas' brand new Nirvana engine looks like.

So-called "rainbow graphics" have been used on the Spectrum as early as 1985, with the game Hyper Sports being one of the earliest examples.
However, it would take another 24 years before Andrew Owen stepped in to really kickstart ZX multicolor development with his ColorPRINT-48 font driver.

With Andrew Owen's 2011 engine ZXodus and the release of BIFROST* by Einar Saukas a few months later, the use of multicolor tiles/sprites became easily accessible to ZX game developers.

Nirvana is the current cumulation point of the past 4 years of work in the field. The engine produces an multicolor tiled display across a whooping 30 columns and 22 rows. It's capable of changing color attributes every two scanlines, so effectively you get a near full-screen, 8x2 pixel display.

To make life easier for developers, Nirvana already integrates nicely with Boriel's ZX BASIC, and will support z88dk in the future.

Looking forward to the games that will be made with it. Until then, read more in the release thread on WOS.

* Dear C64 fans, don't take this too serious. I'm just cracking a few jokes at your expense, but really, I love the good ol' breadbox just as much, alright?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Daily Dosis: Rysk Rouletty by Dorothy's Magic Bag

Oops, took a somewhat longer break with Daily Dosis, it seems. Well, it's back now :)

Mega Man Remade by RushJet1

Rejoice, because RushJet1 brings us another complete Mega Man cover playthrough. This time, he takes on the original 1987 release in the series. Yes, that's the entire Mega Man 1 OST redone from scratch in stereo 2a03 glory.
Get it on Bandcamp, or watch the playthrough on Youtube.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Bips Bips et Autres Nerderies

There's a great new chipmusic show on French online station "Violence Radio". Happens every Tuesday at 9 pm CET, and Sunday at 12. This month's playlist includes tracks by Yerymyey, virt, chibi-tech, Doomcloud, myself, and more. Presented by yours truly, Please Lose Battle.

Check it out here.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Daily Dosis: Rings of Medusa II OST by Jochen Hippel

Ok, one more ST tune to make up for the previous lack of them. So here's my favorite Mad Max track. The recording quality is pretty crap, unfortunately - if anybody can find a better stream let me know. Go to 1:01 if the player doesn't jump automatically.

First Releases from Sillyventure 2k13

The first prods from Sillyventure 2013 are in. Seems there were some very strong Atari ST entries this year. Check out this 15 minute beast of an STf demo by Checkpoint and this short but rather stunning monochrome demo by Cerebral Vortex.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Relix by Paradox and DHS

Talking about YM. Paradox and DHS just released a massive ST music demo at Sillyventure. Over 3 hours of music, all made by 505. Get it here.

Daily Dosis: Phunky Shapeshifter 2149 by Crazy Q

Wow, Daily Dosis has been running for more than a month, and nobody posted any YM tunes yet? Well, it's about time then, innit.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Pie 'n Chips - New Album by m0d

Taking a break from Daily Dosis today. Check out this new album by Amiga veteran m0d though. 18 pieces of cheesy AHX goodness, can't go wrong with that.

Plain PETSCII Graphics Compo Votedisk Released

Voting has started for the Plain PETSCII Graphics Competition. There's a whooping 100+ entries to check out. Download the awesome votedisk, which contains all the entries in a single d64 file, and which you'll need to step through if you want to vote.

PS: And don't miss the recently unearthed, most awesome demotool from the year 1991: the 1x1 Pixel Editor! :P

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Daily Dosis: Game Over by Army of 2600

Game over, man, game over!

Cellulose - A Typewriter Demo by Tapir

Don't have much time to post anything today, so I'm just going to plug this crazy demo by the reclusive Finnish group Tapir.

It's rather ancient, but doesn't fail to impress even to this day. It was released at Dreamhack 2002, where it took first place in the oldskool compo. For more info, see the pouet entry.

Update 2014/02/26: Broken Youtube vid replaced with stream from capped.tv

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Daily Dosis: Danger Zone! by Jake, Ed & Simon

So, does anybody remember these guys?

New Print Publications - Homebrew Heroes and CHIP Special Edition

Homebrew Heroes is a brand new mag/book about, well, the homebrew scene, made by some folks from the retrovideogamer.co.uk team. Copying info from the producers:

Homebrew Heroes is more than just a magazine, it's over 100 pages of retro goodness dedicated to all things homebrew. Inside you will find the top 10 homebrew games for near enough every retro console out there from the Atari 2600 to the Sega Dreamcast as well as the history of each system, tech specs and screenshots. But that is not all, not even close, we also tell you how to build your own home computer and speak to somebody who has. Alongside this we bring you the history of DIY home computing through the ages. Want to read interviews with homebrew developers? We have those for you too!
Well, sounds like a good plan to me. The preview looks pretty rad, and for just 3,99 £, this seems like a pretty good deal in any case.

German computer mag CHIP surprises us with another special edition. This one is titled "Kult-Computer der 80er". Expect a whooping 148 pages of well-researched 8- and 16-bit computer history.

I haven't read this one yet, but going by previous experience, it will definately be worth the money. Printed copies are available for 9,95 EUR, or you can obtain a digital download code for 6,95 EUR.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Animal Romantics!!!

"Animal Romantics is an interactive Javascript PETSCII music disk by Raquel Meyers, evilpaul, and Goto80, with remixes by Limonious, Dr. Vector, The Toilet, Steve and Ljudit Andersson."
 Check this out now on chipflip.org!!!

Daily Dosis: Galactic Coursing by Mister Beep

Doomcloud - The Masquerade

Wowzerz, check out this great new EP by Doomcloud, which was released on 8bitpeoples a few days ago. Dark melodic slow NES House at it's best.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Daily Dosis: Passage by Ipower

Prepare for a trip to a world full of mysteries:

This track comes from Ipower's awesome new album Abinox II, which was recently released on Pterodactyl Squad. I strongly suggest y'all head over there and download this if you haven't already. Or better, buy the cassette.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Daily Dosis: Subterranean by VCMG

Friday, November 1, 2013

International Play Your Vectrex Day

Almost forgot: Today is International Play Your Vectrex Day.

I don't have a Vectrex so I'm just gonna sit in the corner and cry... or maybe I'll give this emulator a try ;)

Daily Dosis: Stupid Boy by Buskerdroid

Ok guys, if you have to do the Gameboy unce, at least do it right. Like for example:

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Daily Dosis: Ancient Ruin Adventure (SMS Version) by RushJet1

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Daily Dosis: Orbital Odyssey by Realm of Mind and ARE

PuzzleScript - Low-Res Online Game Engine

The PuzzleScript Online Editor
PuzzleScript is a recent project by indie game developer Stephen “increpare” Lavelle. It's a flexible yet minimalistic, open-source, HTML5-based game engine which is most suited for designing puzzle games. An online editor is available at the project's homepage.

Why am I posting this here on Ancient Wonderworld? Well, because that's what the games will look like, for example:

Collapse by Terry Cavanagh
Heroes of Sokoban by by Jonah Ostroff
In fact, all game graphics have to fit into a 5x5 pixel tile grid. Neat, huh? If you're still not convinced, then check out the latest PuzzleScript titles here, btw.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Saturday, October 26, 2013

New MSX Demo: Atsarias by Lieves!Tuore

Here's something you don't get to see every day: a brand-new demo for the MSX. This one is called "Atsarias", made by Finnish group Lieves!Tuore. It took first place in the mixed 64K compo at Alternative Party last weekend.

The Youtube video seems a bit blurry, so I guess running the demo on emulator would be the better choice in absence of real hardware. Get the executable here.

Daily Dosis: The First Samurai OST (PC) by Nick Jones and Martin Walker

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Daily Dosis: Deactivators OST (C64) by Simon PC Frost

I actually wanted to put the Nautilus OST today, but I can't find a stream of it. So that will have to wait till I manage to set up a Tiny'r'SID player.

ZX81 1K Hi-Res Game Pack Released on Tape

Dr. Beep's famous series of hi-res games for the unexpanded ZX81 has been released on tape.

Also, hi-res on ZX81? Say what? I thought that was only possible with a hardware mod? Well, a while ago it was revealed that ZX81 can actually do hi-res graphics - but only if it is running unexpanded. That means that any hi-res program for the ZX81 fit into 1K.

How far will that get you? Well, normally, not very far at all. But that doesn't stop Dr. Beep, of course. From action platformers to 3D maze games - nothing seems impossible for the Dutch machine code mastermind.

The package includes all 20 of his 1K hi-res games, plus a re-worked version of SOKOB-ONE.

If you want to try out the games before buying, they're all available for free download at www.sinclairzxworld.com (which unfortunately is down today).

The tape, made by Revival Studios, costs 15 EUR. All profits will be donated to KWF, the Royal Dutch Cancer Foundation. Details on how to order can be found here.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Daily Dosis: Raw Recruit OST by Tim Follin

ZX-Art Realtime Graphics Competition

ZX Spectrum graphics archive ZX-Art has announced a realtime graphics competition for coming Saturday (October 26th).

All the various ZX graphic formats, including Gigascreen and Timex Multicolor as well as monochrome and low-res pictures, are accepted.

The theme will be announced at 13:00 GMT on ZX-Art, World of Spectrum, and TS-Labs. The entry period will be 3 hours. All registered users of ZX-Art will be eligible to vote.

The full announcement can be found here.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Daily Dosis: Take It Off Already by Rico Zerone

So I'm back from the dead... nah, just a bit stressed out from Autumn Blips.
Alright then, here are some funky sounds for the weekend:

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Daily Dosis - Dance Step by de!nial

And now some Japanese culture for y'all:

Tomorrow I'll post some "normal" music again.

Just Two More Days Till Autumn Blips III

Just a little reminder that there will be a massive chiptune party in Berlin this Friday, with Goto80, Pulselooper, and 7 more live acts. Details see here.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Daily Dosis: step u/b by HertzDevil

Lotek64 #46 and Commodore Fan Gazette #2 Published

Two new non-English language publications on classic computing matters have been released in the past weeks.

First we have a issue #46 of the Austrian mag Lotek64.

Founded in 2002, Lotek64 is one of the longest running fan-made magazines in the German-speaking 8-bit scene. It primarily focuses on 8-bit Commodore machines, although it does have a fair share of information on other platforms as well.

The current issue features, among other things, a translation of Carl Attrill's theoretical writings on "Retro Computing", a report on the restauration of a very rugged PET 2001, and a tribute to the 20th birthday of the Pentium, asking if 20 years means that the Pentium is now retro.

So, time to dust off the German dictionaries and fire up the translation tools of your choice. All issues of Lotek64 are available as free pdf download here, or you can subscribe to the printed issue for just the shipping costs.

Also just in: the second issue of Italian mag Commodore Fan Gazette.

I don't speak Italian, yet from just flipping through it I'd say this looks very promising, both visually and content-wise. There are a whooping 64 pages with game reviews, a large programming section as well as hardware-related topics. The mag focuses on the whole range of Commodore computers.

Commodore Fan Gazette is available as free pdf download here.

Monday, October 14, 2013

New Speccy Fonts

Made some new FZX fonts for the ZX Spectrum, including the one pictured above. As usual, they're available on my zxgraph page.

By the way, if you are in need of some custom pixel fonts for a project of yours, send me a message or get in touch by leaving a comment below.

Daily Dosis - Chip Body Music by ZilQ

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Daily Dosis - pichetra test by Toxic Chicken

Pre-LSDJ Gameboy Music Editor Unearthed

Johan Kotlinski aka Rolemodel has released sources for his old, pre-LSDJ era Gameboy music editor called "Instrumentor"

In the authors' own words, "[t]he program is not really useful, but I thought it might be some help for people who want to get into Game Boy programming."

Considering useful Gameboy sources are somewhat of a rarity in the wild, I'd say definately grab this one.

Download Instrumentor sources on Google Code.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Daily Dosis - Lodge by Nest

I'll stop numbering the Daily Dosis, it really makes no sense.

New Stagediver 7" Released

The new Stagediver EP came out today. The perfect autumn soundtrack for those who like things a notch darker, I'd say. Done in Octamed on Amiga 600. Available as 7" vinyl or digital download here.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Daily Dosis #10 - Working Title by The MM Project

Art Dump: Temple (2004)

Not much going on in the lo-fi/lo-res world these days, so I guess it's the perfect time for releasing some more old art.

This one is called "Temple". It's done in papercutting. Made this back in 2004. Used it to decorate my living room's window for many years.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Daily Dosis #7: System of a Dream by Starpilot

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Daily Dosis #5: Space Madness OST by McAlby

More VGM, yay!

Party Bit by Ate Bit and H'n'T

Wow, a lot of great stuff today. Here we have a neat little demo by 4mat, with awesome triple SID music by Jellica. Party version was released at Sundown this year. Not 100% convinced by the choice of colors in this one, but still a great prod. Anyway, download is here.

New Tom Woxom Release

Tom Woxom's new album, titled "Gleichtakt" is finally out on Da! Heard It Records. It comes with 11 excellent, dancefloor compatible dual Gameboy tracks which will make you float through space. Check it out!

Issue 3 of ZX Spectrum Gamer Out Now

A new issue of what is arguably the funniest 8-bit themed magazine out there has just been released. ZX Spectrum Gamer isn't so much about reviewing games (or post-viewing, as the magazine puts it), as it is about cracking jokes at the expense of obscure titles from the Speccy library. As such, it holds a lot of appeal even for casual gamers like myself.

In this issue, author Paul of Sunteam takes a look at MAD's Amaurote, the notoriously crappy Gerry the Germ, and Kokotoni Wilf. No, I'm not making these title up, those game actually exists and can be found in the World of Spectrum archives, where you can also play them in your browser if you don't own a Speccy and/or are too lazy to install an emulator.

Well. First of all, a magazine that starts with a rant against insects must be good. Finally somebody is realizing that insects are in fact the arch nemesis of humankind and should be eliminated as soon as possible. Especially wood ticks. But I digress.

All in all, I found the slightly sarcastic humour present throughout the magazine to be absolutely gorgeous, even though some of the pop cultural references might be lost on non-Brits. Also, the whole thing is very well designed and a pleasure to read on-screen.

My only complaint is that it's merely 20 pages long, but considering the whole thing is the work of just one person, that argument is simply invalid. So, a solid 10 out of 10 potatoes for this hilarious production.

The magazine can be found here. In case you have problems with the online viewer, a download link is provided on Sunteam's homepage, where you'll also have access to the previous two issues of ZX Spectrum Gamer, as well as an extensive back catalogue of the sister publication PC Engine Gamer.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Daily Dosis #4: LAN Master OST by Shiru

LCD Megademo 2 by hedelmae

Check out this excellent new low-res demo made by fragment of hedelmae. This is the follow-up to the Finnish group's LCD Megademo released exactly 10 years ago.

"Megademo" is perhaps a bit of an overstatement, considering the prod is less than 3½ minutes long. Other than that though it rocks. The music, made by Leaphion, is pretty slick, too. The demo runs on a 20x4 character LCD display hooked up to a PC. It took second place in the wild compo at this year's Assembly Summer party.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Top 10 TI-82 Clone Games

Hey, everybody likes Top 10s, right? So today, let's have a look at the ten best game conversions for the TI-82 graphic calculator. Because, as everybody knows, graphic calcs are meant for gaming. Or can you think of any other practical uses?

Anyway, this is of course by no means an objective list. If you disagree or feel something's missing then don't hesitate to leave a comment below.
Also, the term "clones" is used loosely here and refers to any game that borrows the idea and look'n'feel of another game - it doesn't have to be an exact conversion, though.

Btw if you don't own a TI-82, you can try these games on an emulator. I recommend Tilem2. Also, you will obviously need to install the appropriate assembly shell first. All shells can be found here.

Well, let's get started then, shall we.

Daily Dosis #3: Reflections of a Dancing Leaf

A perfect track for this time of the year:

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Overdrive by Titan

Are you telling me you haven't seen the the new SEGA Mega Drive (Genesis) demo by Titan? Well, you better get to it, then:

"Overdrive" was released at Evoke last month, where it took first place in the "alternative demo" compo.

Details and downloads can be found at pouet.net.

Daily Dosis #1: Sneak by Hunter Bridges

Howdy folks, it's been a busy week for me, so things here at the Ancient Wonderworld have been a bit neglected. I'll do my best to make up for it in the next days.

Anyway, let me introduce a new feature, dubbed the "Daily Dosis". From now on, I'm going to post some cool music every day. Well, maybe not every day, expect 5-6 post per week. Mostly it's going to be chip, micromusic & friends, obviously, but be prepared for occasional random posts every now and then.

Well, enough talk, let's start the series already.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

[CB009] YERZMYEY – Microsongs

Now what do we have here? A new album from the legendary Yerzmyey? Composed for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum 16K with AY interface, it contains 11 charming, heart-warming tunes with a true demoscene vibe, made with Soundtracker 1.1.

As you can expect from the great master, in addition to the music being great, the arpeggios and echos/delays are top notch. Also, be prepared to hear a lot of Yerz' specialty: laboriously fine-tuned buzzer sounds. All that in less than 4.8 KB of data per song, mind you.

But well, listen for yourself:

The album was released on Japanese chiplabel Cheapbeats. It is available both as download or CD on Bandcamp.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

C3S - GEMA Alternative Needs Support

Some of you might have already heard about the Cultural Commons Collecting Society (C3S), an organization which aims to provide an alternative to major-label oriented performance rights societies in Europe.

The idea of C3S was born out of the special German situation in regards to performance rights. The current problem with being a musician in Germany is that all your performance rights will be managed by a state-controlled, monopolistic collecting agency called the GEMA. This anachronistic legal situation is a left-over from the Nazis, who introduced the monopoly in 1933.

The problem isn't so much the monopoly itself but more the fact that the GEMA lacks a democratic structure and has limited accountability, which means it's vastly intransparent. This has lead to a situation where the organization is effectively controlled by major labels and mainstream producers, who managed to award nearly all the collected license fees to themselves.

Furthermore, GEMA threatens the whole alternative music scene by forcing small venues to pay exorbitantly high license fees, even if those venues don't host shows with GEMA-registered artists. So, to sum it up: Whenever I play a concert somewhere in Germany, the venue has to pay a substantial amount of money to GEMA, of which I get... well? Take a wild guess. Yep, that's right: Nothing, Zero, Zilch.

Therefore, the primary goal of C3S is to challenge the GEMA monopoly. On the long run however, C3S wants to provide transeuropean alternative to traditional collecting societes, especially for those artists releasing under Creative Commons and similar licenses.

The C3S idea has now matured, and the organization will be officially registered on September 25th. They will prepare their application for registration as a collecting agency, which is due to happen in 2015.

C3S is currently running a crowdfunding campaign on startnext. They intend to raise 200.000 Euro by September 30th, however at the moment they still fall a bit short. So if you can, please chip in to support this important project!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Plain PETSCII Graphics Competition

A C64 textmode graphics competition? Now that's what I call a unique theme for a competition. And here's an example of what you'll be up against:

Rules are pretty simple. No fancy tricks, only ROM characters and colors. No previously released works, three works maximum per author, deadline is October 31st, submit works in executable format through CSDB.

Not sure if I'll be submitting myself though, since I'm anything but a PETSCII expert. But it's such a great idea, I just had to let you know...

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Lowest Resolution: Exogenesis by Wavesitter

A new contender for the lowest resolution demo ever? Matt Westcott aka Gasman recently released this crazy production under his new moniker Wavesitter (a lovely play on the German word for budgie, "Wellensittich").

The demo is intended for use with a Novation Launchpad MIDI controller hooked up to a Raspberry Pi (or pretty much anything else that can run Python and has an USB port).

Visuals on a 9 by 9 pixel display? Now that's hardcore. The music, made by Paul Turrell aka Hoopshank, and the visuals were synchronized by hand.

So is it really the lowest resolution demo ever? Technically it would be possible to beat 9x9, think segmented displays or small-scale LED installations. I'll do another article on this subject once I've dug up some more substantial information on the matter. If you have any pointers for me please leave a comment below.

Lowest resolution demo or not, Exogenesis came in first in this years' Wild Compo at Sundown all the same. Fair enough, I'd say.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Teletext Music: Remote Control Music Studio by Goto80

It's a teletext-controlled music editor/tracker with powerful AI elements, made by Goto80 with assistance from Raquel Meyers.
It runs on any TV capable of displaying teletext, via Peter Kwan's vbit USB Teletext Inserter.

Rarely in my life have I ever seen something so fascinating and mesmerizing. I don't even know what on earth is going on for the most part. I'm just deeply impressed and speechless.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Ancient IP Art Discovered

Last weekend I received a large, mysterious shipment... Among the loads of banana boxes there are some interesting ones containing art I did many years ago.

Of course I'm extremely pleased to have this stuff back. It's really like a lost part of my personal history is coming back to me. 

There are quite a few works that I had totally forgotten about. There's a load of shitty, mostly unfinished cartoons, cover art for books that never happened, really weird shit that makes you go "What did the artist want to tell us with that?", and even some actually decent stuff, like the one above.

Well, let me explain a bit more. I'm essentially not a "visual" type of person, and so doing painting and graphics is somewhat alien and taxing for me. I can't handle colors very well, so I prefer to do black and white designs. Also I like to work with fine, precise tools, so I almost exclusively use quills, cutters, fine-tip pens, and pencils. Another personal quirk of mine is working in miniature format. Most of my graphics are smaller than a postcard.

 In the last five years, I haven't practised my hand-craft graphic skills at all, though I do want to get back into it eventually. In the years 2004 - 2006 though I was a bit more active in the visual realms, and this is where most of the rediscovered drawings are from.

To celebrate my reunion with these historic works of mine, I will post some of them on here once in a while.

The one above is called "inward sun". I very much like this one, mainly because I think that it does a good job of conveying a message that can't be expressed in verbal form, which is my central motivation in making art. Yet somehow I have no memory of making it. I can only guess from the other things in the same notebook that it's probably from 2005 or 2006. Anyway. The original is 11,5 by 11,5 cm, black is done in ink and the yellow aura with pen.

Both the orgininal and reprints will be on sale in a few months, if you're interested get in touch or leave a comment below.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

SIDsound on Sega/SN76489

Now here's something awesome: French coder Aly James has managed to pull off an interrupt-driven pulse width modulation on the SN76489, the PSG chip found in the SEGA Master System as well as later models. The effect sounds somewhat similar to the "SID Sound" effect known from Atari ST/YM2149.

Random and IP at Classic Computing 2013

So it seems I'm going to play as opener for the legendary Random at the Classic Computing 2013, which is happening September 21st/22nd at the Institute of Media Studies at Humboldt-Uni Berlin. The concert is on Saturday the 21st, starting 9 PM with a SID DJ show by Thunder.Bird. Entrance is free, so check it out!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

HT And ROM 19.006 - Progress

Good news, everyone: I've finally had some luck with getting HoustonTracker to work with TI-OS 19.006.

Let me explain. ROM 19.006 is the OS version used on the "CS" and "Parcus" models. Those are belated versions of the 82 with a different case design. Most notoriously, the Parcus was dumped by TI mainly on European markets in 2001, two years after the 83+ had been released. Unsurprisingly, it flopped completely. Which is why you can find truckloads of them on Ebay.

Got my Parcus from the Bay for a few bucks about a year ago, still in it's glorious throwaway plastic packaging. So far I've had nothing but trouble with it (aside from the fact that it's made of really cheap plastic and looks totally ugly). There's near zero documentation on it online. The "great" new sideways link port is a far stretch from the tightly fitting 82 ports, and it doesn't work with my home-made parallel link most of the time. And worst of all, Texas Beeper Massacre doesn't run on it, because the display driver runs at the wrong speed.

But now, thanks to my new SilverLink, I can at least communicate with the calc. Well, more or less reliably that is, sometimes I have to "massage" the link port a bit. Well, makes sense now that that book is called "The Medium is the Massage". But I digress.

Today, I finally managed to load a build of HoustonTracker that didn't crash immediately... Yeeehaaaww!

Sound doesn't work yet, though. This confirms something I've been suspecting for a while - port addressing has changed in ROM 19.006. Probably it'll be using 83-style values ($d0..$d3 or what was it). Will check that in the next few days.

So, long story short, there is hope for all those out there who are unfortunate enough to posess one of these atrocious pieces of TI hardware. To all those who don't have one yet, my advice remains: Stay clear of them, they're crap. /rant

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

New ZX Spectrum Fraktur Font

After a recent surge of interest in low-res font design, I now present you my Gesellenstück: Phraktur, a Fraktur font for the ZX Spectrum home computer.

It is inspired by the Koch-Fraktur, a modern and minimalist design devised by fontmaker Rudolf Koch shortly before World War I. It was a very popular font until Hitler denounced Fraktur as Judenschrift in 1940/41.

The font, called Phraktur, is available in FZX format, to be used with Einar Saukas' and Andrew Owen's excellent FZX driver. It was developed using Claus Jahn's equally awesome FZX Editor, which will be available on www.zxmodules.de once it passes beta stage.
The fzx file contains the complete typeset, comprising upper and lowercase letters including all umlauts and mandatory ligatures, interpunctation signs, and medieval number figures.
The font is fairly condensed horizontally, so it is useful for low resolution screens despite it's fairly large height of 15 pixels.

Check out Phraktur and quite a few other Spectrum fonts on my zxgraph page.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

HoustonTracker Developement Switched to Linux

Until recently, I have been developing HoustonTracker on a WinXP system. But a few days ago, I finally kicked myself in the butt and set up a working toolchain under Linux. This will make developement a lot easier, because I managed to automatize the whole building process with an interactive shell script, which in turn calls the usual CrASH/Ion/mallard batch scripts in DOSBox. If the build is successful, the resulting binary will be loaded in my favorite TI emulator, tilem2.

Next step will be to split up main.asm into subroutines, and consequently reduce main.asm to a simple meta file for linking all the subroutines. This will make it easier to eventually merge the current target-specific code into one single general set.

Anyway, the new fancy scripts can be found on the GitHub project page. To make them work, you'll need to grab the latest version of the source code as well.

welcome to the jungle

So I'm gonna try this blog, since it's so popular nowadays and people don't seem to even remember a time when there were those things called websites. 
Expect a lot of ramblings, updates on my various arts and programming projects, and random posts about random stuff. 

Yours truly,