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Interesting tips from Personel Computer News

Posted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 4:17 pm
by peacer
I was searching something related to Oric and come to this site where some documents from old issues of the magazine are given.

http://www.personalcomputernews.co.uk/p ... es_01.html

The question and answer is taken from Personal Computer News #109 Issue: 109 Publication Date: May 4 1985

It's said that "CALL #E6CA turns off the keyboard scanning, but don't use a WAIT after it in your program. WAIT uses the keyboard scan as a counter. CALL #E804 re-enables the scanning. You should get something like a 20 per cent improvement in most programs. "

I didn't know that and 20% faster basic seems quite helpful. I didn't know that and maybe some friends here didn't know that

Also another tip for screen scrolling :

"The parameters for the top and bottom screen lines are held in locations 621 and 622. DOKE these addresses with the normal screen start address (48000) plus an offset. For example, to shrink the scrolling display area to the lines between 10 and 20 DOKE 621,48000+10*40 : DOKE 622,48000+20*40. The depth of the display (number of lines to scroll) is held in the byte at 623 - don't forget to change the value here if you alter either of the others. "

Searching the site for Oric gives many results too with similar helpful tips and news published in 1980's

Such as :
http://www.personalcomputernews.co.uk/p ... opens.html
Historical info about Oric, explanation of whay the name Oric is chosen etc..

Re: Interesting tips from Personel Computer News

Posted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 4:22 pm
by peacer
Another useful topic about memory movement using rom
After spending a couple of hours writing a general purpose memory routine in 6502 machine code for the Oric 1, I discovered that there is already one in existence in the ROM at #EC0C.

Three parameters are needed to use it. First comes the address of the start of the source (the memory to be moved); this is DOKEd to #200. Next the address to which it is to be moved, which is DOKEd to #202. Then the number of bytes to move is DOKEd to #204. Now a CALL#EC0C will move the memory.

10 CLS
20 REM FILL FIRST THREE LINES WITH A'S
30 FOR I=48040 TO 48040+119
40 POKE I,65
50 DOKE#200,48040: REM START ADDRESS
60 DOKE#204,120: REM MOVE 120 BYTES
70 DOKE#202,48440: REM MOVE TO HERE
80 CALL#EC0C

The program below demonstrates this by moving three lines of As starting at the top of the screen down to the tenth line of the screen. The routine could be used to move the normal character set and put in one of your choice and then with the help of a subroutine move from one set to the other.

Another use would be for moving objects rapidly around the screen.
http://www.personalcomputernews.co.uk/p ... es_03.html

Re: Interesting tips from Personel Computer News

Posted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 12:27 pm
by ibisum
I remember avidly collecting every single computer magazine I could find (in Perth, Western Australia) at the time, if it even had a single mention of the Oric somewhere. Over the years I collected all sorts of utilities and tips and such things - and I remember reading the original keyboard scanning article way back then.

I rue the day that I lost my carefully curated tape called UTIL, which had all sorts of stuff listed on it for avid hacking - an OLD command (to recover from the loss of program issued after a NEW, and which I used to copy a lot of software.. run the game, exit to BASIC, type OLD, and get the listing back..), the color-hacking tips (there was a way to 'simulate' 256 colors on an Oric, which Twilight of course re-discovered and improved on greatly with the inverted bit hack), and so on.

So its nice to see this magazine back online again, and it sure is a nostalgia trip to find some Oric listings in there - I feel like I'm 13 all over again. ;)

So thanks for the tip! I hope we continue to re-discover lots of these kinds of nuggets in the archives ..

Re: Interesting tips from Personel Computer News

Posted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:03 pm
by peacer
:) Thank you.

I'll try to bring such tips here if I find again. Every similar additions from all friends are welcome of course :)

Best wishes.

Re: Interesting tips from Personel Computer News

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:53 am
by ibisum
Well I read every PCN article I could find in that archive that had something to do with the Oric or Atmos, and there's a lot of great stuff in there - pity about the missing issues though .. maybe they'll put more online eventually? Sure makes me think of how many gems about the Oric are out there still waiting to be re-discovered ..

I really enjoyed these two articles about sound hacking, for example:

http://www.personalcomputernews.co.uk/p ... es_05.html
(Overloading the sound processor with non-range-checked data values == lovely sound possibilities)

.. and this:

http://www.personalcomputernews.co.uk/p ... es_04.html

.. which is just, like: AWESOME! An article, quite literally about 8-bit glitch, from the 80's. ;) Makes me want issue #74, though ..

Re: Interesting tips from Personel Computer News

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:14 pm
by iss
Great link and thanks for this 'blast from the past' which make me feel younger :).

Re: Interesting tips from Personel Computer News

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 3:19 pm
by ibisum
In between long-compiles on the day job, I'm thinking of ways I can combine the mem-move function with the 4-byte PLAY hack, to come up with some sort of funky tune. ;)

Re: Interesting tips from Personel Computer News

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:29 pm
by iss
Inspired from this topic I just added clipboard paste in Oricutron for Linux and Windows. Now it's easy to copy/paste snippets directly from browser.
So, stay tuned for next Xeron's release (or compile Oricutron yourself :)).

Re: Interesting tips from Personel Computer News

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:35 pm
by Chema
This is a really nice add on! Thanks a lot!!!

Re: Interesting tips from Personel Computer News

Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:13 am
by ibisum
isis: updated and built Oricutron from the latest version in the repo, but I don't see how to paste .. is it in the menu, or do I use hot-keys?

Re: Interesting tips from Personel Computer News

Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:17 am
by iss
@ibisum: use F12 to paste the text you already selected from any text source. F12 is the default key for paste. Hope this will work for you - if not contact me I'll be glad to help.

Re: Interesting tips from Personel Computer News

Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:18 pm
by ibisum
Doesn't work for me, I'm on Ubuntu Studio 13.04-amd64, all up to date, running xfwm4, pretty sure I've got your last revision:

Code: Select all

------------------------------------------------------------------------
r508 | iv.sav.sav@gmail.com | 2013-10-30 01:36:00 +0100 (Wed, 30 Oct 2013) | 1 line

minor cleanups
------------------------------------------------------------------------
r507 | iv.sav.sav@gmail.com | 2013-10-29 17:05:51 +0100 (Tue, 29 Oct 2013) | 6 lines

- fixed anoying bug in VIA/AY display in debugger (Linux crashes because 'fmt' param in vsnprintf)
- added clipboard paste for Linux and Windows (copy remains unimplemented)
- properly handle initial value for SDL audio ('Boom' at start up, see soundsilence)
- AUDIO_BUFLEN changed from 4096 to 1024 for lower laltency
- added 'release' target to Makefile to strip executables
.. so .. dunno what it could be. Fn keys work in other apps.

Re: Interesting tips from Personel Computer News

Posted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 1:32 am
by iss
@ibisum: attached are 64bit builds they work for me in Fedora 19 (see demo.avi pasting your message in Oricutron). I hope they will be compatible with Ubuntu
oricutron-opengl-x64_86.zip
(123.76 KiB) Downloaded 289 times
oricutron-x64_86.zip
(118.88 KiB) Downloaded 295 times
demo-avi.zip
(13.05 KiB) Downloaded 381 times

Re: Interesting tips from Personel Computer News

Posted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 7:30 pm
by ThomH
Frustratingly, three years later, the site linked to appears no longer to exist (it serves blank pages only), was not caught by archive.org and the only other archive I can find is missing quite a few issues when you try to click through — including issues 80 and 81 as I think referred to above.

I guess all things are ephemeral?