Another Weekend

(Above: The IIGS corner, which due to square-footage restrictions, is not permitted to exceed this cart. In this case, Disk IIc fits where Apple 5.25" Drive would not.)

Just an update. I've primarily been working on my tiles and maps. I'm really excited about what I have and soon we'll see it on a IIGS (or emulator) near you. I hadn't realized that Generic Tile Engine is presently an ORCA-only affair, which would not be a problem ideally, but since ORCA is still being sold and its only fulfiller is quite a busy man, my options are somewhat limited. But Lucas S is more than helpful and the project will easily make it around this corner.

(Aside, I'm not sure how ethical you think this is, but it passes my test. I'll be very happy to buy ORCA and hope that it gets fulfilled before Christmas, and forward you a copy of the receipt email, if you'll... you know. Just a thought. I only need the assembler. If you're still listening, I also need Spectrum...) I got everything and more, and legally licensed at that. Thanks everyone.

And before I forget, please join me in welcoming Haloscan comments to I'd love to hear all your thoughts on this stuff.

(Above: Super-GS current configuration, with VOC, but PCTransporter yanked. Reactive Heavy Duty Power Supply also installed. Various GALs and crystals laying around. K-rad Megademo disks handy too.)

I spent a lot of time today attempting to stabilize the Super-GS too, mainly because I'd fiddled with crystals so much, I'd broken the fragile legs off of the 25MHz full-can (yes full, so two legs were oddly bent to fit in the half-can socket) oscillator that came with the TWGS when I'd purchased it. This left me with a 55MHz oscillator (for a 13.75MHz system) from my experimental oscillator collection, as a minimum to start from. At 13.75, I managed to get the machine to be stable for 10 entire minutes, which was a new record, but then came the crashes, as always.

I tried pushing the slot sprongers back out, cleaning card edges with eraser, swapping in different GALs, filtered power, a Reactive 200W Heavy Duty Power Supply... all with very little luck. I even tried different chassis/motherboards and ended up getting the same crashes. This says to me then, that my limitations lie with the TWGS card itself. Tomorrow I believe I'll have oscillators for more sane speeds like 8, 10, and 12MHz. Since 13.75 is just barely on the wrong side of stable (I can clear several levels of Wolf3D before it crashes), I think 12 will probably do fine, 10 will be stable if 12 ain't, and 8 will be unnecessarily slow. But I've been wrong about these things before. TWGS experimentation and stabilization is apparently a very slow and personal process for every IIGS nerd, due partly to the tolerances and margins-of-error of equipment that was manufactured 20 years ago. I mean we are talking about freakin antiques here.

In other news, during all this experimentation, I yanked the PC Transporter, again. And realized just how much better the video output looks without that nasty Colorswitch card, again. If it stays yanked for very long, I promise I'll sell it back to the community, because it's one of the more useless cards I have right now.

Am I going to KansasFest? I haven't been to the actual event, seminars and all, since 1993. And this might be the last one. And I actually have some amazing stuff to share. All this is weighing on me towards 'yes', but I have to make the decision this week, so you'll know soon. Everyone else who has played a part in my little year-2007 IIGS adventure will probably be there, so perhaps I should be too. And of course my family is in Kansas City also.

So that's it for now, just another progress report to show you I've been working. And it doesn't even feel like work, because this is among the more gratifying hobbies/money pits I've ever had. The IIGS remains now, as then, a teacher of programatic lessons as well as of the self.