Announcement

Collapse

Forum Rules and Etiquette

Our mission ...

This forum is part of our mission to promote the preservation of vintage computers through education and outreach. (In real life we also run events and have a museum.) We encourage you to join us, participate, share your knowledge, and enjoy.

This forum has been around in this format for over 15 years. These rules and guidelines help us maintain a healthy and active community, and we moderate the forum to keep things on track. Please familiarize yourself with these rules and guidelines.


Rule 1: Remain civil and respectful

There are several hundred people who actively participate here. People come from all different backgrounds and will have different ways of seeing things. You will not agree with everything you read here. Back-and-forth discussions are fine but do not cross the line into rude or disrespectful behavior.

Conduct yourself as you would at any other place where people come together in person to discuss their hobby. If you wouldn't say something to somebody in person, then you probably should not be writing it here.

This should be obvious but, just in case: profanity, threats, slurs against any group (sexual, racial, gender, etc.) will not be tolerated.


Rule 2: Stay close to the original topic being discussed
  • If you are starting a new thread choose a reasonable sub-forum to start your thread. (If you choose incorrectly don't worry, we can fix that.)
  • If you are responding to a thread, stay on topic - the original poster was trying to achieve something. You can always start a new thread instead of potentially "hijacking" an existing thread.



Rule 3: Contribute something meaningful

To put things in engineering terms, we value a high signal to noise ratio. Coming here should not be a waste of time.
  • This is not a chat room. If you are taking less than 30 seconds to make a post then you are probably doing something wrong. A post should be on topic, clear, and contribute something meaningful to the discussion. If people read your posts and feel that their time as been wasted, they will stop reading your posts. Worse yet, they will stop visiting and we'll lose their experience and contributions.
  • Do not bump threads.
  • Do not "necro-post" unless you are following up to a specific person on a specific thread. And even then, that person may have moved on. Just start a new thread for your related topic.
  • Use the Private Message system for posts that are targeted at a specific person.


Rule 4: "PM Sent!" messages (or, how to use the Private Message system)

This forum has a private message feature that we want people to use for messages that are not of general interest to other members.

In short, if you are going to reply to a thread and that reply is targeted to a specific individual and not of interest to anybody else (either now or in the future) then send a private message instead.

Here are some obvious examples of when you should not reply to a thread and use the PM system instead:
  • "PM Sent!": Do not tell the rest of us that you sent a PM ... the forum software will tell the other person that they have a PM waiting.
  • "How much is shipping to ....": This is a very specific and directed question that is not of interest to anybody else.


Why do we have this policy? Sending a "PM Sent!" type message basically wastes everybody else's time by making them having to scroll past a post in a thread that looks to be updated, when the update is not meaningful. And the person you are sending the PM to will be notified by the forum software that they have a message waiting for them. Look up at the top near the right edge where it says 'Notifications' ... if you have a PM waiting, it will tell you there.

Rule 5: Copyright and other legal issues

We are here to discuss vintage computing, so discussing software, books, and other intellectual property that is on-topic is fine. We don't want people using these forums to discuss or enable copyright violations or other things that are against the law; whether you agree with the law or not is irrelevant. Do not use our resources for something that is legally or morally questionable.

Our discussions here generally fall under "fair use." Telling people how to pirate a software title is an example of something that is not allowable here.


Reporting problematic posts

If you see spam, a wildly off-topic post, or something abusive or illegal please report the thread by clicking on the "Report Post" icon. (It looks like an exclamation point in a triangle and it is available under every post.) This send a notification to all of the moderators, so somebody will see it and deal with it.

If you are unsure you may consider sending a private message to a moderator instead.


New user moderation

New users are directly moderated so that we can weed spammers out early. This means that for your first 10 posts you will have some delay before they are seen. We understand this can be disruptive to the flow of conversation and we try to keep up with our new user moderation duties to avoid undue inconvenience. Please do not make duplicate posts, extra posts to bump your post count, or ask the moderators to expedite this process; 10 moderated posts will go by quickly.

New users also have a smaller personal message inbox limit and are rate limited when sending PMs to other users.


Other suggestions
  • Use Google, books, or other definitive sources. There is a lot of information out there.
  • Don't make people guess at what you are trying to say; we are not mind readers. Be clear and concise.
  • Spelling and grammar are not rated, but they do make a post easier to read.
See more
See less

Powertran Cortex

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Excellent find--and many thanks to all who helped make these newsletters available.
    Enter My Mind At Your Own Risk!

    Comment


      Typical isn't it, 2 copies of the improved 74LS2001 replacement chip, one in issue 5 and again in issue 8, Two of the three previously missing issues.
      I'll do a revamp of my little pcb now based on the new circuit.

      Jim

      Comment


        Games

        I've ported two machine code games across to the Cortex - TI Invaders and Tombstone City. You can download them here: <http://www.avjd51.dsl.pipex.com/powertran_cortex/powertran_cortex.htm#games>. Notes (further details given on the linked page):

        (1) They can be downloaded from the PC to the Cortex using Dave's PC Comms utility. To do this, you'll need to build a simple serial cable.

        (2) I'm not sure how controllable the games will actually be using the keyboard, as the Cortex can only tell when a key is first pressed, and cannot (as far as I can tell) determine whether a key is being held down. [I haven't got a keyboard on my Cortex so can't actually test this part.]

        If you get a chance to try the games, let me know how well (or badly) the keyboard control works. I think there is a simple hardware mod (and a tweak to the games) which would solve it, if interested.

        I'm also about to start porting across "The Valley" BASIC adventure game that was published in 1982 for the Commodore PET, TRS-80 and similar machines.

        Stuart.

        Comment


          Originally posted by Stuart View Post
          I've ported two machine code games across to the Cortex - TI Invaders and Tombstone City. You can download them here: <http://www.avjd51.dsl.pipex.com/powertran_cortex/powertran_cortex.htm#games>. Notes (further details given on the linked page):

          (1) They can be downloaded from the PC to the Cortex using Dave's PC Comms utility. To do this, you'll need to build a simple serial cable.

          (2) I'm not sure how controllable the games will actually be using the keyboard, as the Cortex can only tell when a key is first pressed, and cannot (as far as I can tell) determine whether a key is being held down. [I haven't got a keyboard on my Cortex so can't actually test this part.]

          If you get a chance to try the games, let me know how well (or badly) the keyboard control works. I think there is a simple hardware mod (and a tweak to the games) which would solve it, if interested.

          I'm also about to start porting across "The Valley" BASIC adventure game that was published in 1982 for the Commodore PET, TRS-80 and similar machines.

          Stuart.
          Great work Stuart!

          There is a method to scan the keyboard for 'keydown' codes (like INKEY$ on other systems). I'll try and come up with a code sample, but basically if you read the Keyboard Controller's data, you get what looks like random data. If you continuously read it (using assembly language for speed), and get 4 or 5 reads of the same value, then that is the key that's pressed (obviously only one key at a time can be pressed). The only other thing that needs doing is clearing the Keyboard Interrupt as you eventually start getting beeps once the buffer is full (and maybe clearing the buffer, but I can't remember).

          Anyway, that's the basics. When I get time I'll post an example....

          I'm afraid my Emulator doesn't emulate this part of the Cortex at the moment (it's on the list). Sorry guys!

          Dave.

          Comment


            I had a quick look at a BASIC game, and this is what appears to be done:

            10 BASE 0
            20 CRB(1) = 0 (Disables keyboard interrupts (all Level 4 ints?))
            30 BASE 010H
            40 K1=CRF( 8 ):K2=CRF( 8 ):K3=CRF( 8 ) (scan keyboard controller's data 3 times)
            50 IF K1=K2 AND K2=K3 THEN K=K1 ELSE K=0 (if all 3 are the same, that's the key pressed)
            55 IF K=27 THEN GOTO 100 (if ESC, quit game)
            60 game processing
            70 GOTO 40
            100 BASE 0
            110 CRB(1) = 1 (re-enable keyboard interrupts)
            120 STOP

            I think that's the gist of it.

            Dave.

            Comment


              Thanks Dave. There's an assembly equivalent of that in one of the magazines, but I thought it sounded a bit hit-and-miss. Looks like it will be worth giving it a go.

              Stuart.

              Comment


                74ls2001

                I have done a new piggy back pcb based on the 74LS2001 circuit in the issue 5 and 8 of the newsletter.
                I've ordered 6 off from OSH Park http://oshpark.com/
                3.3 USD each plus shipping, it will be interesting to see what they turn out like, I've not used them before but very impressed with the web site and the support when it didn't like the Boardmaker gerber files initially.

                Jim

                Comment


                  I've updated both games so hopefully you will get continuous movement by holding down a key.

                  Stuart.

                  Comment


                    Well, it's finally time to get rid of the old hardware - too many other uses for the garage.
                    Marinchip M9900, disks and manuals - the original MDEX box
                    Powertran Cortex - needs floppy drives, they are in the
                    PP95 - industrial version of the Cortex
                    If someone could take the lot and distribute them further, that would be perfect.

                    You can contact me, Stephen Pelc, directly at +44 (0)23 8063 1441 or stephen@mpeforth.com

                    Stephen

                    Comment


                      I've been in contact with Stephen and offered to collect, sort and distribute. Preliminary arrangements to collect in a week or two when Stephen has had a chance to sort it all out and I'm back from a week's holiday.

                      Start saving your pennies for shipping!

                      Stuart.

                      Comment


                        Ooooohhhh Marinchip 9900. . .I've been looking for one of those for almost 30 years!

                        Let us know what other interesting Cortex tidbits show up, Stuart!
                        Enter My Mind At Your Own Risk!

                        Comment


                          Originally posted by Stuart View Post
                          I've updated both games so hopefully you will get continuous movement by holding down a key.

                          Stuart.
                          I got the games to work (and they look good!) but they won't load normally without a correction to the 'tape header' in the .cas files. I sent you an email over a week ago with the corrections but I didn't realise you were on holiday.

                          Dave.

                          Comment


                            Originally posted by tms9995 View Post
                            I got the games to work (and they look good!) but they won't load normally without a correction to the 'tape header' in the .cas files. I sent you an email over a week ago with the corrections but I didn't realise you were on holiday.

                            Dave.
                            Hi Dave,

                            I've uploaded the corrected versions onto my website (I thought I had replied to your e-mail, but it seems not). The problem with the tape header was because I didn't realise you needed to specify the execute address when saving.

                            Stuart,
                            In the cold, on Dartmoor, with wifi.

                            Comment


                              Originally posted by Stuart View Post
                              Hi Dave,

                              I've uploaded the corrected versions onto my website (I thought I had replied to your e-mail, but it seems not). The problem with the tape header was because I didn't realise you needed to specify the execute address when saving.

                              Stuart,
                              In the cold, on Dartmoor, with wifi.
                              Thanks Stuart. Keep warm! 78f here
                              Last edited by tms9995; April 9, 2013, 12:45 PM.

                              Comment


                                Img_1651.jpgImg_1652.jpg

                                Now all I need is something that runs on the E-bus to test it with.

                                Jim

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X