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ClassicHasClass
April 13th, 2016, 10:14 AM
Got lots of stuff updated on the Little Orphan Tomy Tutor site, dedicated to this obscure relative of the TI 99 series of computers.

- Pictures of both BASIC-1 cartridges and the Game Adaptor to the Pyuuta pages
- Joyport pinout and analysis of the wiring on the hardware page
- Updated screenshots and cartridge descriptions on the main cart list
- A complete analysis of GBASIC:
--- Internal structure (which is BIZARRE!)
--- Tokens
--- Expanded entries for CELL and KEY with some clever hacking
- Updates to the XTOMYDEV cross-developing toolkit and the Tutti II tape-enabled emulator for Mac OS X:
--- XTOMYDEV: new togbadec that can decode GBASIC programs
--- XTOMYDEV: topicenc uses higher quality Floyd-Steinberg dithering now
--- Tutti II updates (to version 1.5):

support for paste as keystrokes
AltiVec acceleration (G4/G5) for 9918 emulation
2x display (software on Intel/G3, AltiVec scaling on G4/G5)
multiple fixes to the 9995 core
display list 9918 sprite algorithm is now scanline correct
fix crash in tape save dialogue
faster writes to memory-mapped I/O
enabled _/@ key (mapped to backquote key)
additional alternate MOD key for keyboard without Right-Opt (iBook G4, etc) to numeric keyboard ENTER
you can use both shift keys now (both map to "SHIFT")
further improvements to timing loop
debugger can emit instruction stream to stdout (toggled with F7)
9995 STWP instruction correctly disassembled
fix visual glitch with "2" glyph in debugger

Go get.
http://www.floodgap.com/retrobits/tomy/

geoffm3
April 13th, 2016, 12:20 PM
Interesting site... never knew much about this machine, let alone seen one.

It is really a relative of the TI-99, or is it's relationship more like that of the Coleco Vision/ADAM and MSX?

ClassicHasClass
April 13th, 2016, 01:10 PM
No, it's quite close (in fact, its closest relative is probably the 99/8 ). Not only does it use a 9900-series CPU (the 9995, unlike the Z80 in the ADAM and MSXes), it has its own implementation of GPL derived from TI, and the tokens and scratch pad usage of Tomy BASIC is nearly identical to TI Extended BASIC.

geoffm3
April 13th, 2016, 02:14 PM
No, it's quite close (in fact, its closest relative is probably the 99/8 ). Not only does it use a 9900-series CPU (the 9995, unlike the Z80 in the ADAM and MSXes), it has its own implementation of GPL derived from TI, and the tokens and scratch pad usage of Tomy BASIC is nearly identical to TI Extended BASIC.

So did they copy/clone the design or license it from TI?

ClassicHasClass
April 14th, 2016, 07:35 AM
So did they copy/clone the design or license it from TI?

No one really knows. The earliest Tutor system was the Japanese Pyuuta. This had a 9995 and a 9918A, but used only the G-BASIC subset, and actually with katakana keywords. There was only TI hardware in that box and the console sequel, the Pyuuta Jr. G-BASIC and the built-in GRAPHIC paintbox were both wholly written by Tomy.

Later, the Tomy Tutor had an English GBASIC (note hyphen lost), but also added BASIC, which was both based on GPL and Extended BASIC, meaning the Tutor has both TI hardware and software in it.

The chronology and whatever arrangements Tomy made are still unknown. It's certainly possible it was a clone, but unlike the Franklin and the Apple II, the Tomy couldn't run TI software without conversion (though amusingly there are conversions of the Tomy cartridge games for the TI). There is no outward acknowledgement in the ROMs or the system of TI's contribution, unwitting or otherwise, and no one knows why Tomy chose the architecture in the first place since it was intended as a toy computer and the Z80 or 6502 or other more common CPUs would have done just as well in the same application.

ClassicHasClass
June 22nd, 2016, 06:01 PM
One of the biggest annoyances about the Tutor is that it has powerful hardware (for the time) and virtually no direct access to it. For example, in GRAPHIC mode, all you get is the 9918A standard 256x192 hi-res with 8x1 cells; there is no multicolour mode available.

However, if you set the pattern bytes to 00001111, then you get effectively a 64x192 semigraphics mode where each pixel is independent (via the background and foreground colour nybbles). This makes dithering possible, if a bit blocky. XTOMYDEV now supports this with the tog64enc tool (turn a 256x192 PNM into a "GRAPHIC 64" image), and I included some demo images as bitstreams.

http://www.floodgap.com/retrobits/tomy/xtomydev/

31794

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ClassicHasClass
September 17th, 2017, 04:25 PM
The Little Orphan Tomy Tutor site has finally been updated again:


Tutti II 2.0, the tape-enabled Tomy Tutor emulator, is updated with lots of core fixes (including a new ALU core derived from MAME/MESS), improved faster graphics with fixed 9918A palette, and all-new high quality SN76489AN sound emulation. Still running on any Power Mac or Intel Mac from 10.4 to 10.12 (and AltiVec-accelerated on G4 and G5 computers).
New demotapes (compatible with Tutti II), including four of the Japanese Pyuuta cassette "games" converted for American systems, and another James Host masterpiece BASIC game.
Expanded BASIC programming section with more keywords.
More screenshots and entries on the Tomy Tutor catalogue.
Updated trade list.
Other custodial changes.


See you there: http://www.floodgap.com/retrobits/tomy/

Next up is some additional photos, particularly of my Pyuuta PR1000 cassette deck and the Pyuuta-kun I got off Yahoo! JP, and some upgrades for XTOMYDEV to do proper quantization of sound input on a wider array of systems. I'm hoping to have that done in a couple more months.