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Thread: Cromemco dazzler replica project

  1. #11
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    Neat...

    It's amazing how excited people can get (me included) by the sight of random coloured blobs on a CRT !

    Keep up the good work Hugo.

    Dave

  2. #12

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    Yes. Very nice work. Great to relive 1976 microcomputer color graphics capability. Was there ever a BASIC version that utilized the Dazzler?

  3. #13

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    I'm trying at the present to get the Kaleidoscope program working. I'm still not certain that all the hardware is 100% good, although when I manipulate the registers it appears to do what the manual says it should, with the modes of operation and the location the picture is started in memory and turning it off & on etc.

    The board/s certainly interferes with the operation of CP/M and disk access locking up the computer, due to the DMA I expect. Yet the original program I think was made to run under CP/M. So I'm doing various experiments to try to get to the bottom of it. Just running it with Solos in the Sol-20 is not causing too many issues.

    If anyone has a SOL-20 running CP/M from a disk drive and an original Dazzler to try in it, I would be interested to see if the effects are the same.

    BASIC is very convenient testing it, writing to the ports etc. I have not seen BASIC Dazzler programs, but there might be some.

  4. #14

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    "Holy Cow" I just got the Kaleidoscope program running. The hardware is good. There were some issues with the code. I relocated it to 0100h and altered the picture starting address. I made it into a .COM CP/M program, it runs fine inside CP/M now and if I exit CP/M it remains in RAM and I can also run it in solos by typing EX 0100.

    Its one of the most mind blowing and artistic displays I have ever seen, it seems forever changing and varied. It is psychedelic and mesmerizing, like somebody put LSD in your coffee. I asked my wife to come into the workshop and look at it and we just stared at it for ages. That is a great reward for all the work making the boards. Now I just have to figure out how they did that with what looks like a relatively small program !

    I will post a you tube video of it soon.

  5. #15

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    .......I just had a look at the video of the Kscope program on S-100 computer's website. It appears to run faster or be more frenetic than in the SOL-20 where the pace of it seems a little more sedate and hypnotic. Probably the Cromemco ZCPU runs faster than the 8080 in the Sol-20, or is it the same approx speed ?

  6. #16
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    Nice work (again) Hugo.

    I can’t wait to see the video. But do it justice...

    Dave

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by daver2 View Post
    Nice work (again) Hugo.

    I can’t wait to see the video. But do it justice...

    Dave
    Yes, it will take some effort to get a good recording, but since its NTSC composite video I may be able to record it directly and make a video file.

    In the meantime I found that when I exit the Dazzler with a Solos reset, the image at that moment remains in RAM, so I wrote a tiny program of a few bytes in another part of memory to switch the Dazzler back on, so I can see the last "frame" that the Dazzler made before it was deactivated. I have attached some screen photos.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Hugo Holden; September 30th, 2020 at 12:43 AM.

  8. #18

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    Hugo, Those images look great. Very nice. Can't wait to see the video.

    -Gil

  9. #19
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    Hugo,

    Absolutely superb!

    Dave

  10. #20
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    Out of curiosity, do you have any software that runs in the 4x resolution B&W mode? I'm wondering what the 128x128 pixel mode looks like. (Did anything actually use it?) Mainly I'm wondering about both modes... is the active video field 256 lines out of the possible 262 in height? I imagine a fair bit of it must get cut off in the overscan on a typical CRT, which leaves me wondering what the "effective" on-screen pixel resolution is. In color 64x64 mode are the color pixels three pixels tall (192 lines) or four (256)? I assume it must double-scan the 128x128 in the 4x mode... or is that rendered as just a "letterboxed" strip?

    Since you mentioned the Matrox ALT-256... is there much software out there for that? I was kind of wondering if I might be able to emulate it without too much trouble with the video processor idea I've been working on. According to the manual it works by setting individual pixels by receiving X/Y/on-off coordinates via I/O ports, there's no "direct memory access"? Is there any delay in this process with the card, or can the CPU ram pixels in at full speed with no wait states?
    My Retro-computing YouTube Channel (updates... eventually?): Paleozoic PCs

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