Re: [stella] Networkable Atari.

Subject: Re: [stella] Networkable Atari.
From: Eckhard Stolberg <Eckhard_Stolberg@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 11 Jul 1999 13:13:06 +0200
At 23:46 10.07.99 -0600, you wrote:
>I think you misunderstand the Demo Unit a little.  Basically, there are NO
>tapes, and the ROMs inside are almost certainly different since the Demo
>Unit still requires a Supercharger to run.

You are right. Before I saw the pictures on Robert Worne's webpage I
assumed that the Supercharger was build into the demo unit.

>The bootstrap code tells the 2600 how to load data (4 bits at a time, I
>guess) via the joystick port into Supercharger memory, and displays a
>little movie about the Supercharger.  The ROMs hold the bootstrap code,
>and the movie.

You would need at least one line to tell the demo unit to send the
next set of data, so I guess it's only one or two bits at a time.

>I'm curious how it's done though -- I assume it loads code continuously
>as it's playing the movie, but isn't that a bit difficult?  I'd expect
>some "loading" time here and there, but it doesn't do this as far as I
>know (I haven't seen one in action, though Kevin says he WAS able to fix
>mine -- yay!).

Judging by the screenshots on Robert Worne's page it seems that most
of the time only relatively simple graphics are displayed. That would
leave enough processor time to load a couple of bytes into an unused
SC-RAM bank in every frame.

Also the SC only has 6kb of RAM and some of that would be needed for
the loading code. Loading about 4kb of data through the joystick port
could be done in less than a second, so the loading delays would
hardly be noticable.

>I'm asking Kevin to send me copies of the ROM images; I think Sean Kelly
>already has a set as well.

If you get a copy and need some help figuring out how the loading
works, you could send it to me, as I'm also interested to have a look
at that code. ;-)

And will those demos be included on the upcomming SC-CD rerelease?

Ciao, Eckhard Stolberg

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