February 24, 2021, 06:23:24 PM

Author Topic: First Look at the Mega 65  (Read 711 times)

Offline Dabz

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Re: First Look at the Mega 65
« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2020, 01:44:25 PM »
I found Locomotive BASIC a bit more intuitive (As a sprog) and approachable then other BASIC's on the micros, pretty clean setup, feature rich compared with others, though obviously, after playing and making the odd game, like other BASIC's, it ran slow when chucking things on the screen... Which, later on I would learn how to use that and RSX's (machine code) to do both (Then inline assembly later on) which was when I found the CPC's weird way of handling screen memory wasn't quite the most intuitive (Just check out how it draws any loading screen to see), but, a bit of maths tart'ed that up!

Then when I first used BlitzBasic I felt right at home with it from the off because, I dunno, it was pretty familiar to Locomotive really.

One BASIC I did enjoy back in the day was BBC BASIC, many a playtime I would be tinkering, its inline assembler was fun, and like I mentioned, I eventually got the same setup when I finally persuaded my mam to buy me Maxam for the Amstrad by mail order, lol... Eeeeee Those were the days! :)

Anyway, I had fun with it, cannot really compare it to your commodore or speccy variants of BASIC because I never really explored them, I did have the odd dabble on mates micros, and wasn't as keen on their setups, but I cannot say if they were better or bad in all honesty, it's all horses for courses really, but, all in all, I did have a ball with Locomotive! :)

Dabz
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Offline Steve Elliott

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Re: First Look at the Mega 65
« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2020, 06:10:44 PM »
So luckily Locomotive BASIC suited you then, because if it didn't you'd have to upgrade to a BBC Micro.   :D

Talking of older systems vs modern, this made me chuckle:

&ab_channel=The8-BitGuy
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Offline Dabz

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Re: First Look at the Mega 65
« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2020, 07:27:00 PM »
He's not wrong though... I used to love old manuals, I mean, they were a big massive lump of info, obviously you had different engineer manuals then the one the end user got, which became mostly mythical texts really... Like, you knew they were out there, and there would of been absolute gems of pieces of info in them, though, it was hard getting one as, well, you couldnt just go on Ebay or download a PDF could you! :D But, the one Johnny Consumer ended up with was still quite hefty!

Though, on about Maxam previously, that came with nothing more then a leaflet with a handful of assembly examples on (I've still got a copy, not my original sadly), and, as a bedroom coder, you just ended up having to pick up stuff in magazines, or BASIC programs that were stuffed with DATA statements that was used to poke machine code into memory, but, you started to pick up on op-codes and what not, and you could read these DATA statements and pretty much half work out what was going on... That was indeed a hobby within itself really... But I enjoyed it, saw it more of a puzzle really.

Programming was defo more fun back in the day, obviously distribution of stuff now is a lot easier, but, I did have a little PD library going off, and bought from other PD libraries too, so got to see quite a bit of excellent stuff that the machine could produce in the back end of it's life... Really nice to see Batman Group and especially Rhino pick up the baton from them far off days... They are turning that machine inside out, just check out Pinball Dreams for the Amstrad, it's a major major achievement, imagine if someone produced that in the day, Sugar Tit's of the Alan would probably be worth more then Bill Gates! :D

Dabz
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Offline Steve Elliott

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Re: First Look at the Mega 65
« Reply #18 on: December 08, 2020, 09:09:30 AM »
Yes manuals were fantastic and the computers came with a built-in language so you could turn them on and get coding instantly, while being guided by a big hefty manual.  Part of the attraction the Spectrum Next provides (with some enhancements).  But this time I'm looking forward to coding in assembly language and hitting the hardware direct.

Yes information regards assembly language was much more difficult to get hold of back then so I left it alone - you seemed to have had some fun with it though!

Well all of the 8-bit systems seem to have a good following and even today people are pushing ZX Spectrum's, C64's and Amstrad computers beyond what was achieved in the early days of their life.  Although I've seen some very impressive late 80's games on the Speccy that I missed (due to moving to an Atari ST).  For me that's a big appeal of the Spectrum Next, it's simple enough to get to grips with an 8-bit machine like that.  To get to know it inside and out without the need to learn/fight an involved OS, API's and libraries, game engines and such.  Just an Assembler, Sprite Editor and Sound Program.
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Offline dawlane

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Re: First Look at the Mega 65
« Reply #19 on: December 08, 2020, 03:01:35 PM »
The reason why you never see good manuals for computers in this day and age, is down to the fact that tech support would be out of a job.

I've used most old home computer Basic's and Commodore Basic v1 & v2 have to be the worst for ease of use. Commodore only started to get it right with v7. If you owned a Vic20 or C64, then you definitely needed the reference guides as well and the standard user manual.

Locomotive Basic for the CPC was by far the best to use, but the BBC models had the advantage of a built in assembler. ZX Basic had the advantage of less typing, once you got used to how the commands were accessed, though that all changed with the introduction of ZX 128 Basic, which has possibly the slowest editor I've come across.

When it comes to programming with machine code, the Zilog Z80 instruction set would have been hard to beat on any 8 bit machine.

Offline Steve Elliott

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Re: First Look at the Mega 65
« Reply #20 on: December 15, 2020, 01:50:35 PM »
Quote
The reason why you never see good manuals for computers in this day and age, is down to the fact that tech support would be out of a job.

Nah, it's because (desktop) computers these days are just a box of components (case, keyboard, motherboard, graphics card etc) and you swap them out when you upgrade.

Where as 80's/90's computers were a fixed hardware spec, so you could cover everything in the manual knowing nothing would change from computer to computer.

The manuals for my 8-bit computers:

Windows 10 64-bit, 16Gb RAM, Intel i5 3.2 GHz, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 (2Gb)
MacOS Big Sur 64-bit, 8Gb RAM, Intel i5 2.3 Ghz, Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 1536 MB
Linux Mint 19.3 64-bit, 16Gb RAM, Intel i5 3.2 GHz, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 (2Gb)
Raspberry Pi 400, Pi4, BBC B, C64, ZX Spectrum

Offline dawlane

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Re: First Look at the Mega 65
« Reply #21 on: December 15, 2020, 02:52:02 PM »
Nah, it's because (desktop) computers these days are just a box of components (case, keyboard, motherboard, graphics card etc) and you swap them out when you upgrade.
Must be around ten years or so since I actually saw a manual that came with and PC that gave the basics on how to use Windows. The laptop I bought this year came with a FCC certification booklet that was thicker than the instructions for Windows and the laptop.

 

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