SyntaxBomb - Indie Coders

General Category => 8-bit / 16-bit retro world => Topic started by: Steve Elliott on August 02, 2020, 11:28:13 PM

Title: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Steve Elliott on August 02, 2020, 11:28:13 PM
Back in the 8/16 bit era if you wanted to get the very best from the computer you had to use Assembly Language.  You didn't have an OS fighting you or libraries to learn - so you could hit the metal and get the most from the limited hardware.  Coding on a limited system currently interests me, and after installing FS-UAE today and seeing how good it replicates the smooth scrolling of a system locked at 50hz (PAL) running scrollers like Agony and Shadow of the Beast, with my monitor also switched to 50hz it's gotta be 68000 assembly language and Amiga coding!  Even PC's can't hit silky smooth scrolling at times due to the many configurations available (computer and monitor refresh rates) and the programmer not quite compensating adequately.

I feel I kinda missed out on the assembly bandwagon...Or should that be Assembly Line?  :D  I'm familiar with lots of high level languages, but I never went lower than C.  With good emulators it seems that urge to try a bit of Assembly Language is too tempting to turn down on a very capable system like the Amiga.  I think I'll give it a bash and see how I get on.
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Qube on August 03, 2020, 05:04:06 AM
FS-UAE with your monitor set to 50hz is great for Amiga emulation. Been playing the Nightmare table on Pinball Dreams in all it's silky smooth glory.

I get the urge to learn assembler but for the C64 ;D - Although you would of thought with the VIC-20 being my first computer I'd dive into that side but I wan't to delve into multi coloured sprites and SID chip music.

I'd probably find 68000 + Amiga stuff more difficult than an 8-bit C64 so baby steps to begin with like "Hello World" stuff and bill up from there.
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Steve Elliott on August 03, 2020, 10:37:14 AM
Yes I thought of the C64 at first (I have a C64 emulator and a real C64).  But I only want to learn one system at assembly language level and the Amiga is so capable with plenty of RAM.  With the C64 you'll have to pull some tricks to get your game to fit into RAM, so more complicated in some ways.
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Qube on August 04, 2020, 05:13:07 AM
Quote
With the C64 you'll have to pull some tricks to get your game to fit into RAM, so more complicated in some ways.
This is true and I've thought of that so I'll probably have a quick play with both and decide from there which one I'll spend more time with. Also doing a DOS game in assembler is tempting too ;D
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: MikeHart on August 04, 2020, 05:23:15 AM
How about the upcoming Commander X16? From the video specs it is close or even better as the amiga, easier memory model than the C64 and hardware is surpose to ship late 2020. Emulator is out already.
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Steve Elliott on August 04, 2020, 09:38:27 AM
Quote
How about the upcoming Commander X16?

That's too much of an uknown quantity.  The Amiga is a well known classic system and still popular with fans.

The Colour Maximite 2 is already out too, but doesn't even come with standard joystick ports.
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: TomToad on August 06, 2020, 02:55:28 PM
If you really want to get low level, how about making your own CPU?  Came across this playlist from Ben Eater.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLowKtXNTBypGqImE405J2565dvjafglHU (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLowKtXNTBypGqImE405J2565dvjafglHU)
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Steve Elliott on August 06, 2020, 03:13:52 PM
Interesting, but I would want a widely supported system...The Raspberry Pi Zero is also a possible, all-be-it a more modern solution.  The latest Raspberry Pi 4 models are little more than slow PC's, quad core CPU with 8Gb of RAM.  Rather than a more limited system like the Pi Zero, single core CPU and just 512K of RAM like the Amiga A500.  The Zero runs at a consistent clock speed too, ie a fixed computer model spec like the Amiga/ST and the 8-bit computers.

So ARM Assembly Language then!...Even if that's cheating because it's a 32-bit system not an 8/16 bit one.  I seem to have lost my Pi Zero so ordered a replacement and some extra bits:

https://shop.pimoroni.com/products/raspberry-pi-zero-w

https://thepihut.com/products/mini-hdmi-to-hdmi-cable-v1-4-zero

https://thepihut.com/products/zebra-zero-heatsink-raspberry-pi-zero-case-black-ice

https://thepihut.com/products/usb-to-microusb-otg-converter-shim

The USB converter Shim will help connect the tiny Nano USB Dongle for the keyboard and mouse set from JellyComb I already have:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wireless-Keyboard-Jelly-Comb-Computer-Black/dp/B0762CQQQP/ref=sr_1_6?crid=T9P1HBJX9DAT&dchild=1&keywords=jellycomb+keyboard&qid=1596727123&sprefix=jellycomb+%2Caps%2C161&sr=8-6

Or for ultra small and portable (and leaving a free USB slot) I have this foldable bluetooth keyboard and track pad too.  It folds into 3 sections so is very small when not in use, but opens up to a decent keyboard and track pad size when unfolded.  It also works with phones and tablets.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bluetooth-Keyboard-Jelly-Comb-Rechargeable/dp/B07BNKV756/ref=sr_1_9?dchild=1&keywords=bluetooth+keyboard+and+mouse&qid=1596891414&refinements=p_89%3AJelly+Comb%7CLogitech&rnid=1632651031&s=computers&sr=1-9



Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Xerra on August 08, 2020, 12:10:48 AM
Ahem, cough.

Uncle Xerra has already had a play with this. Sadly I've not continued much with it yet even though I want to. his thread might give me a kick up the butt.

https://www.syntaxbomb.com/index.php/topic,6907.0.html
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Steve Elliott on August 08, 2020, 12:16:57 AM
Assembly Language is the new Python lol...I much prefer C myself though (to Python).

Yeah you should definitely continue with your assembly coding.
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Steve Elliott on August 08, 2020, 11:54:16 AM
Hmm, well I've received all the extras, everything but the pi zero itself lol.  The problems of ordering from 2 different companies.
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Steve Elliott on August 10, 2020, 05:07:17 PM
The Pi Zero arrived today, wow it's smaller than I remember.  Incredibly efficiently put together and looks fantastic in the case.  Clear acrylic so you can see the tiny components on the board, but with a black surround too.  The case is very nice indeed, the pictures don't do it justice.

https://thepihut.com/products/zebra-zero-heatsink-raspberry-pi-zero-case-black-ice

Set everything up using the keyboard/mouse:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wireless-Keyboard-Jelly-Comb-Computer-Black/dp/B0762CQQQP/ref=sr_1_6?crid=T9P1HBJX9DAT&dchild=1&keywords=jellycomb+keyboard&qid=1596727123&sprefix=jellycomb+%2Caps%2C161&sr=8-6

But to remove the need to take the only USB slot and keep the system small I'll probably use the Bluetooth option for general use:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bluetooth-Keyboard-Jelly-Comb-Rechargeable/dp/B07BNKV756/ref=sr_1_9?dchild=1&keywords=bluetooth+keyboard+and+mouse&qid=1596891414&refinements=p_89%3AJelly+Comb%7CLogitech&rnid=1632651031&s=computers&sr=1-9

You really do notice the speed difference between the pi zero and the pi 4, but that's the point.  I'll be treating it like a modern Amiga (all-be-it one that could fit it your pocket and costs £10) rather than a cheap PC Laptop.  Next to setup AGK, C and I'll be looking at Assembly Language after that.
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Qube on August 10, 2020, 10:45:16 PM
The pi-zero does look pretty cute :))

Good luck with learning Assembler. Remember to post code, comments and explanations so I can nick it and take credit ;D
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Steve Elliott on August 11, 2020, 12:44:13 PM
Quote
The pi-zero does look pretty cute :))

Good luck with learning Assembler. Remember to post code, comments and explanations so I can nick it and take credit ;D

lol yes it's very cute (only 66.0mm x 30.5mm)  ;D  And still uses a bigger HDMI Port than the pi4.   :P

Thanks, will do...  :P

It's typical, the first computer I'd thought of for assembly language was the Spectrum Next (I didn't think that would ever come out, so I missed out)...Well I've just received the pi zero, and guess what?  The Spectrum Next is available to buy on Kickstarter 2 tonight...I don't think I'll go for it now...Probably not...But you know after a few beers you tend to buy things...  :))

Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Steve Elliott on August 11, 2020, 09:45:04 PM
Ooops I ordered a Spectrum Next on Kickstarter!   :D

The goal was reached in minutes so it's going ahead.  I guess I have some time before I actually receive a machine, so time I can use to learn Z80 Assembly Language and read the downloaded version of the manual until the physical one arrives - plus there's a Spectrum Next Emulator out there.  Programming on the very first computer I ever owned (in something other than BASIC) at last lol.  I still own my original ZX Spectrum (which no longer works).  Because it's hardware is implemented in FPGA technology, with no emulation in sight as they say on the Kickstarter Page all software and hardware peripherals are compatable.  Ofcourse I'll be taking advantage of the turbo modes, hardware sprites and scrolling, more memory, 256 colour modes and better sound too.

So it's Qube and Xerra on 6502 Commodore 64 and me on Z80 Spectrum Next Assembly Language as was the original idea of this thread.   :))
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Qube on August 12, 2020, 12:49:47 AM
I see you’ve got one of those dodgy mice that accidentally click on “buy now” too :)) - lol, must fix my mouse as I’ve spent a pretty penny this month and we’re only 11 days in. However... the cursor keeps jumping to an eGPU ( Radeon 5700 XT ) for my shiny new Mac mini but I think the Mrs will stamp on the mouse if that accidentally happens.... maybe :P

Yup, looking forward to having a play with assembler and should be hair pulling fun ;D
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Steve Elliott on August 12, 2020, 01:00:47 AM
lol true...Except I bought a £10 Computer, and then a £300 computer...How much did you spend?  :))

Well there are plenty of tutorials online regards Assembly Language, and Spectrum Next BASIC is pretty nippy to get a prototype designed.
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Qube on August 12, 2020, 09:11:49 AM
lol true...Except I bought a £10 Computer, and then a £300 computer...How much did you spend?  :))
Erm, well my faulty auto click mouse problem has cost me nigh on 3K so far :o

It'll all be worth it in the long run though as in the future I can keep the monitor and just buy Mac minis \o/ - The problem with buying new iMac's is you're always buying the monitor again which is crazy and why I decided to go down this route.

With the upcoming Apple Silicon products I can just grab hold of a Mac mini version ( low end one to start with ), stack it on top of the current mini, whack it into the monitor and off I go. No need to have two iMacs or two Laptops. One screen, keyboard and mouse.

Also as the monitor can handle from 50hz to 144hz it gives me the option of 50hz for retro emulators like C64 & Amiga, 60hz for developing games and 144hz for a silky smooth OS.

Overall I'm very happy with the new setup even if I've still loads of things to setup on the Mini with Catalina. Most importantly though, all the games I've written work silky smooth and the speed of the internal drive is very very fast.

So looking forward to diving into assembler and getting my first sprite moving in silky smooth 50hz C64 code ;D - Perhaps a bit of proper work too in-between :P
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Steve Elliott on August 12, 2020, 09:22:46 AM
So it will save you money in the long run, you could add that to your 'justification' hehe.   :D  I would much rather be able to choose my own monitor, rather than be forced to have the built-in unit.

All sounds good.

Quote
So looking forward to diving into assembler and getting my first sprite moving in silky smooth 50hz C64 code ;D

Cool, yes that's a landmark moment because you'd be well on the way to completing a game at that stage.

For me it's great to have a working Spectrum again to go with the C64 (when it finally arrives, emulator until then) but without the hassle of trying to get the machine run on modern tv/monitors and loading from SD Card instead of damn tape lol.  I already have 2 joysticks for it, the classic Competition Pro and a 6 button Megadrive/Genesis controller (some Next games support more than 1 button).  And ofcourse the challenge and reward of learning a system at the lowest level.
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: iWasAdam on August 12, 2020, 10:58:57 AM
and i'm in for a spectrum, next...
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Steve Elliott on August 12, 2020, 11:05:20 AM
You've ordered a Spectrum Next Adam?
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: iWasAdam on August 12, 2020, 11:34:17 AM
yep. just have to wait a year now...  :o
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Steve Elliott on August 12, 2020, 11:40:24 AM
Awesome.   :D  Yeah, but I'm sure the time will fly though.

So you'll be porting your Viva Mortis game to the Next?
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: iWasAdam on August 12, 2020, 12:11:30 PM
what a good idea :)
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Steve Elliott on August 12, 2020, 12:14:09 PM
lol that will do down very well with the Next Community.

I'm looking at Emulators right now and finding the best version (some are beta versions).
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Steve Elliott on August 12, 2020, 08:02:12 PM
The 2nd Kickstarter has done well for the Next.  They've raised more money in less than 24 hours than they did in a month on the first one.  Funding goal met in less than 5 minutes!  :o

Cool.  It looks like we're now getting twice the memory, a full colour manual (rather than just a colour cover) as standard and a free game.
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Qube on August 12, 2020, 09:51:38 PM
The 2nd Kickstarter has done well for the Next.  They've raised more money in less than 24 hours than they did in a month on the first one.  Funding goal met in less than 5 minutes!  :o
I bet it was quick to hit the funding goal as it became a real thing when the first run finally made it into peoples hands.
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Steve Elliott on August 12, 2020, 10:04:57 PM
True, but less than 5 minutes to fund goal is still very impressive.  I never backed the first Kickstarter because I thought it would go the way of the earlier Speccy attempts. But it looks like we'll be getting a better package now, so glad I waited for the 2nd run.
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: iWasAdam on August 13, 2020, 05:43:24 AM
steve - you got one too?
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Steve Elliott on August 13, 2020, 09:20:01 AM
Yes Adam, I've ordered one.   :D


&feature=emb_logo
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: iWasAdam on August 13, 2020, 11:01:30 AM
We gonna do this trip together then???  ::)

What dev system/language/ide's are you looking at?
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Steve Elliott on August 13, 2020, 11:16:23 AM
Yep hopefully pick up tips and advice from each other.

I've looked at a few Youtube videos, some based on old skool Spectrum and some that are more Next specific.

ZEsarUX as a possible Next Emulator (v8.1 is stable v8.2 is beta).  CSpect is another Next Emulator.

Spin is a standard ZX Spectrum Emulator and includes an Assembler.

ChibiAkumas is a bit of an Assembly Language Wiz and has lots of videos, some general some on Next features using assembly.

Darryl has also got some good videos up on Z80 Assembly Language and Next BASIC (including moving hardware sprites about in BASIC).  He really should use Next BASIC Procedures though! lol.

&t=51s

&t=255s

&t=5s
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Steve Elliott on August 13, 2020, 11:51:43 AM
You can download a copy of the Next Manual from here:

https://www.specnext.com/zx-spectrum-next-user-manual-first-edition/

I'm going to connect my Next via VGA rather than a HDMI cable though because some of the old games/demos used special timing tricks which don't work on HDMI, and Tilemap modes work better with VGA:

https://www.specnext.com/tilemap-mode/
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Steve Elliott on August 13, 2020, 02:13:52 PM
The Next KickStarter has now made £900,000, so more free goodies to come!   ;D

[edit]
It seems Cspect produces a smoother scroll in emulating a Next than ZEsarUX.  Try the parallax scroll demos to see on Windows (ZEsarUX is multi-platform).

The Parallax Scroll Demo is using the Next's Copper Chip apparently.



Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Steve Elliott on August 13, 2020, 09:24:03 PM
New Stretch goals:

Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: MikeHart on August 13, 2020, 10:20:17 PM
When do you have to pay? When the kickstarter ends?
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Steve Elliott on August 13, 2020, 10:21:13 PM
Yes Mike, 10th September.
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: MikeHart on August 13, 2020, 10:56:05 PM
Wish it would have been december. Oh well.
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Steve Elliott on August 14, 2020, 12:28:50 PM
A shame Mike, but on the first Kickstarter a few pulled out and others took on their pledge later on.  They've now passed a million pounds, so another stretch goal met.
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: iWasAdam on August 14, 2020, 02:12:50 PM
Bloody ell  :o Good for them...
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Steve Elliott on August 14, 2020, 08:57:52 PM
Yes good luck to them.  There have been plenty of companies trying to cash in on the Sinclair Spectrum legacy many of us grew up with.

But attempts for the ZX Spectrum recreation have been very shady...Then the hugely popular C64 emulator with full sized working keyboard, to now the hardware recreation FPGA that recreates actual hardware cloning with 100% software and hardware peripheral compatibility to the original ZX Spectrum machine.  I still have my original Speccy, although non functional, so good to replace it with one with a decent keyboard.

But as well as running the original machine BASIC, there's a modern version with Procedures and access to the hardware sprites and all the other extra co-processors.  But I aim to get into assembly language this time around and see what I can achieve with it's updated hardware.  It's what could have been if the Speccy had evolved, now with similar tech to an Amiga.  Such as turbo modes, 3 sound chips, hardware sprites, hardware scrolling, copper chip, Raspberry pi co-procesor and 256 colour modes.

Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Steve Elliott on August 20, 2020, 04:13:51 PM
Well all the stretch goals have been met for Spectrum Next with 3 weeks to go on Kickstarter (currently £1,208,337) the original goal (£250,000) met in 5 minutes.  They've needed to add another stretch goal at £1.5 million, although I'm not sure if that will happen, but 3 weeks to go so who knows?

The stretch goals that interest me have been met - double the RAM, full colour manual, bigger SD Cards and power switch.  When it eventually arrives I'll be like a kid at Christmas all over again unboxing my ZX Spectrum...Next...Plus the hardware recreated 'personalities' like the BBC Micro and Amstrad through FPGA.
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Steve Elliott on August 26, 2020, 12:08:33 PM
...
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Steve Elliott on August 30, 2020, 07:40:40 PM
Sod it I'm back in with 10 days to go and £1,354,756 raised on Kickstarter.  I know I would have kicked myself not having the opportunity to have a working ZX Spectrum once again (my very first computer) to go with the working original C64 I have, no emulation here.  All-be-it one with a much better keyboard over the rubber key original, SD Card storage, that can plug into modern HDMI devices or VGA screens too (and I've managed to aquire some CRT's) plus the improved graphics and sound in Next Mode - and that Raspberry Pi Zero inside for extra processing, yet 100% compatable with the original ZX Spectrum software and hardware peripherals.  The manual tells me there are higher resolutions so that could expand the screen window, and I just know I'll have a lot of fun with the Speccy Next, tinkering with it.   :D
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: col on August 31, 2020, 01:53:26 PM
I'm in too :)

I'll need to brush up on my z80 and with the emulator. Got about a year lol.
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Steve Elliott on August 31, 2020, 02:28:34 PM
Excellent  :D

Well you can help us z80 assembly noobs then lol.  Yep a year to learn assembly, plus I already have a compatible Competition Pro Joystick, a Sega 6 button gamepad and a PS2 Mouse for the Next.  :)
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: col on August 31, 2020, 04:29:18 PM
I see there are a few new assembly instructions to help move the 'bits' around easier. Interesting that they've called the main core the Z80N to reflect the new instructions.

Plenty of 'Next' specific software ports to have a play with which can also be controlled by the copper chip by the looks of it.

I don't have any accessories lined up just yet. I remember the competition pro, best of the best back in the day :)

Interesting times ahead.

Just found this site for a couple of addons...
https://store.activeconsult.co.uk/shop/ols/products
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Steve Elliott on August 31, 2020, 04:33:27 PM
Yes it seems you can access ports from Next BASIC too, with assembly language lots of possibilities.

And regards the Competition Pro yes it's a classic with microswitch clickyness.
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: col on August 31, 2020, 04:43:06 PM
That stick brings back fond memories, practically indestructible. Those super loud clicky switches :) BTW I'm sure you're aware that it can survive been thrown across the room an almost infinite number of times  :))

Are you going in for Basic or Assembly?
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Steve Elliott on August 31, 2020, 04:49:15 PM
Yes I had to get a classic joystick of the era, and something more modern for Next games that take advantage of the extra buttons.  Haha, but could it survive Daley Thompson's Decathlon?   :))

I think I might do a bit of Next BASIC (rather than Sinclair BASIC) short term, but I see it as a machine for coding assembly language.
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: dawlane on September 02, 2020, 09:29:58 PM
This looks like it may be an interesting series if you happen to have a C128.
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Steve Elliott on September 03, 2020, 05:25:42 PM
A week to go on the Spectrum Next Kickstarter and it's at £1,407,945.
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Steve Elliott on September 05, 2020, 10:05:12 AM
Someone has setup Next BASIC coding from Visual Studio:

https://emails.kickstarter.com/ss/c/pGVEG5T9w7LP_74vNtZiwKprtA1sWzQ7I1zetmwN6UapXFzU_Q8AmjJGB-UmiHW0-R3_GKoUUMe0vho3zJ7Zkg/34w/y86NDYTCSXeNaPFPtdIJEg/h10/IB0WhCEJwHN6srdgcvk_5xmDPtRt1YnipSrFdvwm01I
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: col on September 07, 2020, 03:24:16 PM
If you're using Windows then this should help get you up and running:

https://specnext.dev/tutorials/creating-a-z80-assembly-development-environment-on-windows/

For mac:
https://specnext.dev/tutorials/cspect-mac/

Not sure where Linux is but it can't be difficult to work it out from those 2 :)
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Steve Elliott on September 07, 2020, 03:46:23 PM
Cheers col!   :D
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Steve Elliott on September 07, 2020, 06:52:17 PM
Well the Kickstarter for the ZX Spectrum Next reached it's £250,000 goal in less than 5 minutes, so the team kept adding and adding to the Stretch Goals until they had the last stretch goal of £1.5 Million, with some extra goodies for the backers.  It's just passed that figure with a few days to go on the Kickstarter (currently £1,656,289).  *Steve raises a glass to The Next Team*
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: col on September 10, 2020, 10:33:01 AM
Over 1.7mil now  8)

This may also help noobies getting into z80  ;D

http://www.z80.info/lesson1.htm
http://www.z80.info/lesson2.htm
http://www.z80.info/lesson3.htm
http://www.z80.info/lesson4.htm
http://www.z80.info/lesson5.htm
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Steve Elliott on September 10, 2020, 11:25:58 AM
Quote
Over 1.7mil now  8)

Yep £1,707,078 and 9 hours to go.   :D

Quote
This may also help noobies getting into z80  ;D

Cheers, I'll be looking at Z80 Assembly Language after the SB Coding Comp.
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Steve Elliott on September 10, 2020, 09:06:19 PM
£1,846,756 the final figure.  Congrats to the team.   :D
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: col on September 11, 2020, 02:33:19 AM
Yep a huge congratulations to them. Over 5000 backers.

I wish it was August 2021 already lol
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: iWasAdam on September 11, 2020, 05:58:31 AM
quick pic to show the love and attention to both detail and end users:
(https://vjointeractive.files.wordpress.com/2020/09/0ba7f52e9fc84eb9890cafefa457592d_original.png?w=670)

The Spectrum design is soo well thought about with all of this :)
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Steve Elliott on September 11, 2020, 10:38:10 AM
I'm sure the time will fly col.

Yes attention to detail even on the personalised SD Cards - and now in colour.  Very nice.  The team spent a lot of time getting all the details just right, with the original designer of the ZX Spectrum Rick Dickinson producing another great design.  Plus the time was taken to have it manufactured to a standard everybody was happy with.  The huge in-depth manual will be in full colour too this time, so even better than the Kickstarter 1 version.
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Xerra on September 11, 2020, 10:50:08 PM
I never had a Spectrum as a kid, only borrowed one for a month or so. I wish the guys behind the Spectrum Next would turn their heads into an updated C64 or Amiga after they've finished with it. They obviously have the tech know-how and can deliver on the project.
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Steve Elliott on September 11, 2020, 11:08:25 PM
Well the tag-line on the Kickstarter is about imagining an alternate timeline where Sinclair produced a machine to rival the Amiga or Atari ST.

While only 8 vs 16-bit, in the Next Modes it also has extra abilities over a standard Spectrum.  Like turbo modes up to 28Mhz, hardware sprites, hardware scrolling, hardware collision detection, copper chip, 9 channel sound, 256 colours on-screen, no colour clash, 2Mb RAM etc.
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: col on September 12, 2020, 05:00:56 AM
As you say... the team have added hardware sprites and they've also added a 'tile map' too which can be scrolled with the copper. There are a couple of areas of RAM that shadow the screen (couple of different methods to do this) so that you can utilise double buffering. Both sprites and tile maps can be displayed over the border area given you 'full-screen', with resolution of 320x256 with 256 colours to play with ;)

There seems to be a couple of different ways the graphics modes work, with the graphics modes, 4 bit colours, 8 bit colours, 9 bit colours, register bits to flip sprite images plus more but it certainly looks to have some great potential for what it is.
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: dawlane on September 12, 2020, 05:08:12 AM
I wish the guys behind the Spectrum Next would turn their heads into an updated C64 or Amiga after they've finished with it. They obviously have the tech know-how and can deliver on the project.
Never going to happen for the Amiga. Nobody in their right mind would want to get mixed up in the legal battles of Cloanto, Hyperion Entertainment and A-EON. Possibly the longest legal disputes in history. They'd need another crowed funding campaign just to pay for the legal costs if they tried to create such a device to sell. If someone has the cash, then they could get hold of the limit Mega65 developer boards (https://shop.trenz-electronic.de/en/30390-MEGA65-Development-Kit-highly-advanced-C64-and-C65-compatible-8-bit-computer) costing almost a €1000, or the technical know how to build their own FPGA based computer. But any device to be distributed would have to use the open source almost compatible roms or expensive licenced roms.

The Sinclair ZX Spectrum Next is a different story, with the exception of CP/M due to licencing issues. The ZX Spectrum Next has the blessing of the current IP owner (I believe it's still BSkyB) to use the Sinclair ZX Spectrum moniker and roms. And according to the wikki, they only needed to make donations to a charity designated by the owners of the IP. For the Commodore brand, it's a legal minefield.
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Xerra on September 12, 2020, 01:38:48 PM
Yeah, the mega65 is one of the things I've been looking at as well as what the 8bit guy is up to. I didn't fancy forking out a grand for a dev machine, though. I'll be interested once it actually makes it out there, though. Assuming it does.
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: dawlane on September 12, 2020, 08:06:43 PM
I didn't fancy forking out a grand for a dev machine, though. I'll be interested once it actually makes it out there, though. Assuming it does.
There's always the Ultima64 (https://ultimate64.com/). Which is more reasonably priced, but looks like it requires a case and the legal status of the roms supplied is not defined.
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Steve Elliott on September 12, 2020, 08:15:51 PM
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As you say... the team have added hardware sprites and they've also added a 'tile map' too which can be scrolled with the copper. There are a couple of areas of RAM that shadow the screen (couple of different methods to do this) so that you can utilise double buffering. Both sprites and tile maps can be displayed over the border area given you 'full-screen', with resolution of 320x256 with 256 colours to play with ;)

Oh yes the tilemaps too, it all sounds awesome. Plus a case/keyboard too lol.
Title: Re: Retro Assembly Language
Post by: Steve Elliott on September 30, 2020, 06:22:23 PM
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Hi there! We need your information to produce and ship your ZX Spectrum Next.

 :D
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