October 2004 archives
Very small Improvized Meeting's report
I saw some previews of demos at the meeting, you still will be able to be astonished with demos on an Amstrad CPC.
After hard working you have to have fun, your humble webmaster was able to beat to pulp Tom and Jerry on Fighting Vipers (Street Fighter like game). Also poor Tom never understood that his car on Burnout 1 (car race game) could run at more than 20 kilometers per hour. But luckily for him he is a bit better with Bust-a-Move 2 (Tetris like game).
I didnt use all the time playing on the Sega Saturn or the Nintendo Gamecube, I also worked a little on the site. Now all links are stored in a database which makes the work easier to manage them.
ConvImgCpc has been updated. You can now save to OCP Art Studio .PAL format and another feature I can translate. ConvImgCPC is a win9x utility created by Demoniak to convert pictures (GIF, JPG, BMP, WMF) to Amstrad CPC screen format.
CPC/IP and how you can use it
News from SymbOS (SYmbiosis Multitasking Based Operating System) by Prodatron is a new OS for all Amstrad CPC Computers. SymbOS is based on a micro-kernel-architecture. It provides real preemptive multitasking, a dynamic memory-management for up to 576K Ram and a totaly MS-Windows-like GUI. As you can see below, SymbOS seems to be very interesting, and I dont talk about the background image.
There is a new mailing list for SymbOS.
The CPC Booster+ made by Antitec is out. Here are its features :
- 1 SYNCRHONOUS/ASYNCHRONOUS SERIAL PORT : Improved serial port with the ability to enable parity check, select the bits of the frame, the stop bits and many more things to control it. The speed goes from 4800 baud to 1382400 baud,
- SERIAL PORT BUFFER : A 255 bytes buffer added for the UART which can be enabled/disabled by the user. Improves performance of the serial communication,
- TWO ANALOG INPUTS : Two analog to digital convertors.They are used for stereo or mono 8bit sound sampling. You can select the sampling rate directly from the cpc booster,
- TWO PWM CHANNELS : They are used as digital to analog convertors through a LOW PASS RC filter. You can play stereo 8bit samples if you connect the board to an amplifier,
- 5 DIGITAL INPUT/OUTPUTS : You can connect anything that supports TTL logic. You can even drive relays or step motors if you know how to make the appropriate connections. You can also make parallel 4 bit communication with another CPC,
- 512 BYTES EEPROM : EEPROM is like RAM but the contents remain intact if you remove power, it doesn't need a battery,
- SEVERAL MATHEMATICAL FUNCTIONS : At the moment I've only installed multiplication but as soon as I get the time, me and Optimus will write some fast code for division, sin, cos, tan etc,
- BIOS UPDATE : It is possible to make an update of the bios of the microcontroller through the CPC,
- ROM READ/WRITE : The AVR MEGA163 has 16KB of program memory. The bios of the CPC booster uses less than 5 KB so far. So you can use more than 10KB for your own purposes,
- KEYBOARD SCANNING : A function which will make keyboard scanning a lot easier,
- RS485 NETWORK: An RS485 network is installed in the CPC Booster+. With this it's easier than ever to make a super fast network of up to 32 CPCs,
- TCP/IP IMPLEMENTATION : This is also a feature I want to add in the future in order to give the CPC users the ability to go online in the internet with their CPC! In this part everyone can contribute, if you have knowledge of how the PPP and TCP/IP works.
Buying a CPC Booster+ cant be a mistake, so dont hesitate to go to Antitec web site. They will cost about 35 euros ( add shipping cost). Personnally I have ordered 6 CPC Booster+, one for myself, 5 other to be sold for whoever want them.
I will use mine with Contiki, I cant wait for Kevin Thacker web site update to see Contiki on my Amstrad CPC (but beware the CPC Booster+ cant be used at the moment with Contiki).
Generic IDE for PCW
Overlanders's site update
Overlanders's site has been updated with more demos, previews and intro to download. Click on Trucs to the upper right.
Kevin Thacker has succesfully converted Contiki to run on an Amstrad CPC. The basic setup is working. There is no networking yet. There is no binary available at the moment, but it should be soon.
New emulator : Pituka
Pituka is an Amstrad CPC emulator for the GP32, an korean handheld console.
ConvImgCpc has been updated, with now text in french and english. It's a win9x utility created by Demoniak to convert pictures (GIF, JPG, BMP, WMF) to Amstrad CPC screen format.
1.44 floppy and IDE controller for Amstrad CPC
Rodolphe Czuba is talking about making an 1.44 floppy and IDE controller for Amstrad CPC on the newsgroup comp.sys.amstrad.8bit , read the article if you want more information. He needs 50 orders before he considers the production.
ConvImgCpc is a win9x utility created by Demoniak to convert pictures (GIF, JPG, BMP, WMF) to Amstrad CPC screen format.
The Improvized Meeting will take place in Coutances (France, 50) from saturday 30th October to monday 1st Novembre.
The place is the same as for the Amstrad Expo meeting. To go there :
- you can arrive with train at Granville or Coutances,
- coming with someone's car from Paris, Rennes, Contrières or Carentoir !
You have to confirm that you come (on the CPC_FR mailing list).
There will be a contest about Halloween, it can be a demo, picture, music, etc...).
CPC Game Reviews
CPC Game Reviews has been updated with 14 new reviews.
Midnight/MU has gone live, it's a web-based multi-player version of the 1984 game, The Lords of Midnight.
Contiki, uVNC and uIP
I have already talked about Contiki which is an open source, highly portable, networked, multi-tasking operating system for memory-constrained systems like 8bit computers. We should be able to see Contiki on Amstrad CPC as Kevin Thacker is working on it.
Contiki and the CTK VNC server uses uIP which is a TCP/IP stack for Embedded Microcontrollers. A port already exists for the Z80. But an TCP/IP stack already exists for Amstrad CPC, coded by Mark RISON : CPC/IP.
So in conclusion when Kevin will succeed to compile Contiki for an Amstrad CPC, you will be able to control it from a PC to control, connect it to internet, and much more...