8-Bit Software Online Conversion

FROM A2L M.DAVIS Hi everyone again, Yep- Its me again. A note on projects I have been involved with (You never know u might pick up a few titbits). I assume you read the previous document to this. After the Master was doing the Irish Weather System for a while it was decided to upgrade to the Archimedes. The entire system was rewritten by me (Again no help) utilising 2 pluto boards. These were used individually as two 8 bit duel frame buffers;- __________ /------------------------------/ Archie --------------------/-- -----------------------/--- Here | 768 x 576 (x2) | | 768 x 576 (x2) | | Full 8 bit 16Mil Pal | | Full 8 Bit 16Mil Pal | |_______________________| |___________________________| \ / \________________ / |Arc Controlled| | Mixer System | |______________| | PAL OUT The Arc controlled mixer allowed softmixing, Wipes slides fades & the duration of them to be controlled. The system quickly took shape within 3 and a half months the full system was converted and working (Excludes time to develop SW to control pluto boards 2 months~). Because it was a turnkey system the desktop was not used (I never got around to learning to prog it).I did a lovely system mouse based. The users were ecstatic about it. Aliased lines & Aliased fonts were introduced (Proper Aliasing -my system unlike Acorns crappy alias system). The speed of generating maps increased quite a bit on the broadcast end of the system. The Data entry system was then written by me on a master 128 to emulate the Arc as much as possible. A full sprite system was used including a font system among loads of lovely other items. The Data entry used a bitPad (Digitiser Tablet with my software drivers) & every bit of memory was used up. I pushed the Master 128 to its absolute limit the coding for the Data entry itself was in excess of 400k with sprites maps adding more using every byte of a 640k disk. A second disk was used for map generation. I added in a contour system to the data entry and graphics & had to invent a new mathematical system to get what I required. The contours took 3 months to develop. It utilised Acorns GRX fills on data entry & my own system on the Archie Hi res end. I learned quite a lot about the master in that time(undocumented). I have found over the years that programming in m/c is not always a good idea where changes are constantly required & speed is not essential & so tend to program in hybrid (Basic/mc). It seems to be the most efficient way. While I was developing the cpntour system among other projects I was informed that we would not be able to develop a satellite (Cloud) system for the weather as the hardware could not achieve it according to IO (Pluto) Research. I was told it was IMPOSSIBLE!! That is the worst thing to say to me as no matter what it is I can make a computer do it (IMPOSSIBLE or not) It freaks me out when I hear it - It might take a while but I can do it. I set to the task to do a demo version. I had it complete in 8 hours(I wont go into detail - we would be here all nite). Unfortunately I had no time (I am human after all) to do the full system I was doing contours so for the first time I got help. Sean completed using Spacetech podule in an arch our own SW to process & send over ethernet to Grafix station. I programmed the Grafix satellite end & finished contours. Unfortunately Sean couldn't take pressure & disappeared (wouldn't blame him). I had to finish up & tie up loose end & get the entire system running. Now the TV station were getting ansy with me they wanted the system on a quote "STANDARD PC PLATFORM". So I rewrote the entire grafix system on an IBM PC and replaced the Masters with the Arcs as the Data Entry System. I installed the satellite & contour system. 6 weeks after doing so the BBC televisions Weather suddenly had contours and other similar new features to my system. It didn't bother me instead I said to myself lets hot it up a bit & within a 2 weeks was the first TV station to use contoured modelled textured maps. I knew this would be difficult for anybody to reproduce in any fashion as I used special techniques. I was right it must have been at least a year before the BBC introduced them. It was very awkward for them to do this & they still cant do it without problems. They asked me how I did it when I demoed the system in Paris. It takes me 1 hour to do a map it still takes the BBC 1 month. I just love the challenge "David versus Golliath". The users were freaking about how the PC was not as good as the Arc system (It wasn't me - its IBM PCs they are crap). The television station are now PC standard. THEY CRASH REGULARLY!!! I did warn them but they insisted.If only people would listen (ahh well what's new). At about this time ITVs new weather system came on line. I was told that it was 3 quarters of a mill for the hardware & a quarter mill for software. It was impressive rain lightning bolts.It took me 3 months to have most of the same functions (Animated symbols) and some extra that were never used.Whoever is paying out that money should give me a call - bloody ridiculous. Since leaving the PC has been deteriorating badly. I have been once again asked to help out I may do a little or just develop my own system and put loads of ideas I have had over the years. Ideas people in the business will look in awe at wondering how in Gods name that guy did it within such a small budget. Watch out S.G. here I come doing everything your machines and more & not on a PC but on a XXXX XX (Guess!!). I have also written a full television framestore system using optical technology (PC based yuk). Numerous Quiz shows : Sports quiz utilising a3000 & WildVVision Genlock card. Just goes to show what small machine can do. General quiz show (Prime Time) Where In The World This used to be BBC B Master Archie. It gets bigger every year. Now its BBC controlling all busser & autocue prompts. Master/Arc controlling score system. PC doing framestore & graphics manipulation. Still going to this day. Micro Quiz (Was 84ish) used BBC Bs for graphics buzzers & sound. Rapid Roulette BBC B controlled Scoreboard / buzzers (85-86 ish) Eurosong twice (or was that 3 times). Did you know that the television station were praying we would loose (So was I) I had enough on my plate. The cost for the station was prohibitive. Bet u didn't know that Angeline Ball (Commitments) was a singer before film and was in Eurosong as a backing singer.That's where I first met her (at the party after the show). She is a real looker. Anyway I digress as usual back to computers. I wont bother naming any more shows etc or the file will get to long ,instead I will type etc........................ By the way all of the above projects and more went on in parallel with me as the only programmer.I do not recommend this for your health but u certainly learn a lot. Oh I nearly forgot to mention PROJECT RED LION to any programmers who might want to get involved in one of the biggest (NO the biggest) project that has ever been undertaken for the BBC /Master /Compact computers (8 bit machines). The results of which will be put into PD and I guarantee u will be more than famous. Even though Its only 8 bit I know that the project will be in most of the Acorn mags as a breakthrough in 8 bit programming when released. Even I will need help on this one (Its Big very BIG).You don't have to be a genius. I am currently writing up what has to be done & small portions (100 bytes - that not to hard is it!!) can be given to those willing to help. The final system will have a credits file containing a list of all contributors. Assuming all goes well it may still take 6 months (I wont be able to do full time but will allocate all I can in time). I guarantee that when released more people will start using the beeb.Now what could it be u ask - I am NOT TELLING YET but more details will be released soon.So keep an I out ;-> Those with BBCs will require one Bank of SWR (Sideways RAM) at least. I will cater for DFS (but I assume 80t).If BBC & 1 SWR only then an eprom will have to blown.2 banks of SWR avoid this.I was thinking of not doing DFS at all and asking Mr. Harston to allow useof HADFS on DFS machines as it is more ADFS like in structure but this would require some changes. Comments from all welcome. PS every single BBC user will probably end up using this SW (SW=Software). END OF TEXT HERE