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Dr_Dave

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  1. With the release of the Next becoming increasingly imminent, I decided to dust off a goal that is about 35 years old now and finally do some Z80 assembly language coding. I'd tried multiple times in the past, but always given up fair quickly. As a high level programmer, assembler just seems so damned raw! But it also feels limited and complete - I have the feeling that if I can just get over the initial shock of how simple it is, I might eventually know ALL of it. In the modern world of coding, this is rare. Languages are too big, systems are too complex, everything is so daunting. But mastering Z80 feels... achievable, at least to the point where you could code up something useful. So I locked myself away with VS Code and Jonathon Cauldwell's Z80 tutorials and didn't let myself out until I felt as if I'd achieved something. Well, it wasn't easy. And I did a lot of head scratching over the simplest things... but it finally started to click. I think the big thing for me (which probably sounds massively basic) was understanding that you're interacting directly with what is in memory, rather than through some abstract layer in the language. Also, coming to terms with register usage and the lack of "variables"... My aim, ultimately, is to code a game. Nothing complex, nothing GOTY material. Just something with a title screen and levels and controls and a score. So I'm adding bits in one by one, figuring it out as I go. Here's where I am now: A sprite, with some sloppy animation, moving around and colliding with platforms. I can't tell you how much thinking it required to get to this spot! Next step - include some enemy sprites and get them moving.
  2. What did you think of this? I just made one and I wasn't massively impressed. The pasta was too dry and bland, and it just lacked something. I think I overdid the breadcrumbs as well, which probably didn't help the dryness.
  3. I've just started playing it through on the Switch and I'm generally loving it - something about this style of game and the tantalising glimpses of where you will be able to go to once you finally get the double jump or whatever really appeals to me. It has mostly run fine, and looks quite lovely in places. The most serious problem I've had is in the transition times between rooms, which can sometimes take up to 10 seconds. This is particularly noticable in vertical transitions, where you can easily forget to respond once it finally loads in, and you end up falling back into the room below. Minor annoyance, but one that I've noticed.
  4. Dr_Dave

    NFL 2019!

    Well, that was a hell of a way to end the Dolphins' season! In 30 years of watching them, this year has had some of the most interesting, inventive, gutsy and entertaining football I've seen them play. And we set out to throw the season!
  5. Dr_Dave

    Google Stadia

    I picked up a Premium Edition, after being sufficiently intrigued by the technology from a buddy pass. Got to say, I've found it very hit and miss when playing on wifi in Chrome on a laptop, but played on the CC Ultra with a wired connection is a completely different world. As in, it's pretty much indistinguishable from a PS4. I just played Tomb Raider for two hours and didn't notice a single glitch. Playing the same on laptop over wifi, I tend to notice a drop or glitch every few minutes, and that's on pretty decent wifi - nothing to completely ruin the experience, but definitely noticable. The controller is really nice as well.
  6. I think a lot of people are more comfortable with the term "plant based" than "vegan/vegetarian". It looks like some fancy food trend, rather than catering to a particular ideology.
  7. For Christmas dinner this year, we got hold of an M&S Plant Kitchen festive roast, and it was bloody amazing. A proper savory taste with an amazing vegan gravy. Tasted kind of like a meat stuffing, shot through with cranberry sauce. Very rich, perfect texture. We also did the Quorn roast as a second "meat" and the pair went together really well. Also - the Plant Kitchen aisle in our M&S was rammed with confused looking older people looking for acceptable foods for visiting veggie relatives. Great!
  8. The USB support is really great. I've just spent the last week downloading the Mega CD images and setting up a USB stick to swap to, but now it just seemlessly integrates those files into the SD card boot.
  9. It's interesting scrolling through this thread... you really start to notice that modern Spectrum games are so colourful compared to old Spectrum games, which relied way too much on monochrome. They've really got a handle on making the most of the few resources the Speccy has!
  10. I've done a bit of a look around on the MiSTer, but mostly I'm saving them for the arrival of the Next.
  11. I'm constantly amazed and delighted that the Spectrum still commands enough releases to justify an (almost) yearly Crash Annual, with some really impressive technical accomplishments still arising as well. I played around with Gandalf DLX a while back and was amazed by some of the trickery on display. It defied everything I thought I knew about Spectrum graphical limitations!
  12. Does anyone have any tips for optimising Minimig on the MiSTer? I find that I have very variable levels of success with it, specifically: - Some games freeze when run from WHDLoad (I think I've figured this out to be an NTSC/PAL issue, but I'd love to know how to tell whether I should run a game in NTSC or PAL) - Glitching in games - in particular, I see glitching in Turrican 2 (DCache related, I think) and Shadow Of The Best - both suffer graphical artefacts all over the place - Screen mode issues - I'm finding it very difficult to get nice looking screens. I see a lot of large borders or screen over lapping with the edge. Appreciate that borders were just a thing on PAL Amigas, and I know about that screen position adjustment, but I can't ever seem to get it right. Adjust one game and it seems to knock another out of whack. Also, the screen position adjustment seems to have stopped working in recent versions. What is "Blank" and "Blank+"? EDIT: Doh! I'm an idiot... had the mister.ini file in config rather than in the root, so everything I was trying to tweak was having no effect. SOTB works fine when loaded on an A500 config, so probably some 020 or AGA incompatibility. Still can't get the screen position tweaking to work, but everything looks a hell of a lot better now.
  13. Mega CD support got added in the last few days, and seems to work well (with some minor glitching). Mega CD games are terrible though
  14. For mince, I find either Asda or Sainsbury meat free (soy based) mince to be better than Quorn mince for chilis and bolognese. Just need to put it in 15-20 minutes before the end of cooking to keep the texture nice and firm. I always found Quorn mince too soggy.
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