Infocom games Z-machine

Want to talks about games you like, would like to see developed on the Oric, it's here.
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Chema
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Re: Infocom games Z-machine

Post by Chema » Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:09 pm

Well I would need to check the limitations. The code made by Fabrice was able to read and write sectors on an MSDOS disk (512 byte sectors). If the disk is fresh formatted (I assume FAT16 or FAT12, never remember which) and the game dat file is copied into the disk, it gets stored in a known sector, and it can be read this way. As the max size is also known, Fabrice stored the savegame data in free sectors after the dat file.

Simple, yet smart!

What it did support was all the Oric drives (if I remember correctly), from Microdisk, to Telestrat and Jasmin. He tested that, I think. I have played infocom games with Cumulus and my Oric, and other people did the same using a Microdisc clone and floppies. I was never able to test the latter, because of the difficulties to write floppies (need to get an old laptop, boot in MSDOS from disk, work from there with no USB nor networking... a pain).

No filesystem support, I'm afraid, so a bit ahead of reading/writing files. But surely a first step towards an OS which could support FAT disks.

Now the thing is that most PCs don't have a floppy drive, so even with that option, supporting FAT disks is less and less interesting. Much much better would be support all kinds of FAT and SD cards on cumulus :)

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Re: Infocom games Z-machine

Post by Dbug » Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:34 pm

Symoon: Well, yes the Oric can read any standard floppy, you can make it read a PC or Atari ST floppy without any problem since the controller supports 512 bytes large sectors.

That could definitely be used to transfer files from a PC to an Oric - for a dedicated copy program - but you don't want to run natively in this format on a 6502: 512 bytes sectors are far from optimal for a CPU that is optimized to address 256 bytes sequences.

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Re: Infocom games Z-machine

Post by Symoon » Wed Sep 23, 2015 8:48 pm

I agree with you guys, anyway I tend to forget my initial idea for such a project, which was: transfer disks with the minimum specific hardware (hence the sound transfer).
Anyway, I'm off-topic there, sorry for having brought this in the thread ;)

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Re: Infocom games Z-machine

Post by Godzil » Thu Sep 24, 2015 10:57 am

Dbug wrote:Symoon: Well, yes the Oric can read any standard floppy, you can make it read a PC or Atari ST floppy without any problem since the controller supports 512 bytes large sectors.

That could definitely be used to transfer files from a PC to an Oric - for a dedicated copy program - but you don't want to run natively in this format on a 6502: 512 bytes sectors are far from optimal for a CPU that is optimized to address 256 bytes sequences.

You can use X and Y for addressing two buffers of 256 bytes ;)

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