Re: [stella] A warning to newbies -- every cycle becomes sacred!

Subject: Re: [stella] A warning to newbies -- every cycle becomes sacred!
From: Dennis Debro <ddebro@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 6 May 2003 10:36:46 -0400
Hi Ruffin,

> Aren't cycles sacred too?  And then the big question has
> to come up, "Are cycles more sacred than bits?"

I'm no expert but I've found that it depends. If I know I have plenty of time to execute my instructions in VBLANK or overscan, I would choose bytes over cycles. In the display kernel it would depend on the situation. Cycles would be important here so you would keep up with the raster.

I've found that coding in 6502 has helped me at work a little too. I get real excited when I have to look at hex numbers to determine a value. I use to shy away from such a thing but now I look forward to it. I also catch myself counting cycles in the code around here. In an environment where you have what seems like an infinite amount of RAM (compared to Stella) cycles do count. Of course one could argue that as PCs get faster and RAM gets cheaper, what difference does it make. I find it a challenge to try to tweak the enter workings better. That way when your boss says, "That process is too slow...speed it up!" You can look them in the eye and say, "The code is as tight as the environment will allow. Now if they were to let me program it in assembler and stop relying on the compiler to optimize..." :)

Take care,

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