Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Adapters and distractions

First with directly associated news; I've sent the adapters out for a quote and whilst they're more expensive than I'd hoped, I've finally decided to bite the bullet and tomorrow I'll kick off the order for four (4) complete sets. That'll be followed by an order to Digikey for the connectors and then it's a matter of waiting about 2 weeks for it all to arrive and solder them together.

I've also been thinking again about picking up Donkey Kong and that'll happen soon.

In the mean-time I've been distracted by some smaller software projects. Somehow (I won't bother to explain how) a YouTube video of the Dick Smith System-80 resulted in me reverse-engineering the TRS-80 Model I game Tandy Invaders and then porting it to the Microbee. That in turn ended up with me acquiring and then sprucing up the source code for the TRS-80 Model I version of Donut Dilemma, and again porting that to the Microbee.

And because I don't already have enough irons in the fire, tonight I started to reverse-engineer the Apple II version (which happens to be the original version) of Lode Runner. It's my favourite Apple II game and one of my favourite games on any 8-bit platform, and it's something I've wanted to do for a very long time. I've dabbled with Lode Runner in the past, but never attempted to disassemble the Apple original. Fortunately someone has already reverse-engineered the 3-stage anti-piracy bootloader and I'm starting with a clean dump of the actual game code. Ultimately I'd like to finish what I started about 30 years ago and port this to the TRS-80 Model 4 (with uLabs Grafyx Solution hires board) and also the Coco 3 - and perhaps other platforms.

The next update should have photos of the assembled adapter PCB's...

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