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FMA 3500, a 486DX Notebook with monochrome LCD VGA display 
Saturday, October 10, 2020, 09:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
Not really bad for 1991, this notebook with a monochrome LCD VGA display has a 130MB hard disk drive and 8 MBytes RAM. The build in video graphics adapter is a Cirrus Logic GD610. It has 2 serial interface ports, 1 parallel port and one external keyboard socket/connector - but no PCMCIA or even USB (this wasn't up-to-date in 1991!). The power supply delivers 20 Volts.
It runs Windows 95, but it has not enough space on hard drive for Windows 98 or newer, and I guess it would be to slow for Windows 98, too.
But for a monochrome display, it's acceptable, there are other more worse displays existing.
It was sold also from the german computer distributor "Vobis" as "Highscreen 486DX Notebook".



Btw. - the often found "one EXE file version" of Johnny Castaway Screensaver (made by someone for Windows XP) is NOT compatible with Windows 95 (but with Windows 2000 and XP).
You need to look for the original setup disk content (e.g. at winworldpc.com) to be able to install it. See also "related link below".



This software "Mephisto Meisterschach" is really a rarely used software, but still very interesting, because it plays very well (compared to the similar old Chessmaster 4000, much better).
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CP/M Terminal test program with self editable terminal definitions 
Sunday, September 20, 2020, 07:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
To figure out what Terminal (aka what Terminal control sequences) for an less known CP/M system is needed, I wrote a small terminal test program. It's useful because sometimes you have to configure WordStar or other full screen editors for systems without build-in terminal emulation, means if you have such a system like a S-100 bus system, or something like a Micromint SB180, which needs also an external Terminal to show their console (output) via a serial interface.

When started, it looks like this:


Just press a digit key with a (predefined) terminal definition, and you will see if you get a nice or an ugly screen output (depends if you choosed the right terminal or not).

This is the output if everything is ok:


The definitions are stored in a text file named "TESTTERM.COD", for syntax and structure see README.txt within the ZIP...

You can download it via "related link" below.
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A game gem: Eye of the beholder (1991), with really beautiful EGA graphics 
Saturday, August 29, 2020, 02:00 AM
Posted by Administrator
Westwood Associates created this real gem in 1991,based on "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons" game series.
This game does not only offer beautiful VGA but also EGA graphics, I would say it is one of the best games for EGA PCs.
I was looking for more games for my Siemens PG750, which can display EGA graphics, and beside Star Trek 25th anniversary, it is my favorite in terms of graphics quality.
The story of the game isn't too complex, most of the time you're wandering through a dungeon with dwarfs and monsters, defeating them, looking for the Xanathar, the eponymous beholder.

Look at this master piece of game trailer:


For beginners, it could be tricky to get out the starting area, because almost every dwarf will block your way:

Just a small hint, spells will help to go on...

You can buy the game (as part of a trylogy) still at gog.com !
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A modern "BASIC Home Computer", "Colour maximite 2", with an ARM7-CPU 
Monday, June 29, 2020, 08:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
That's not vintage, but still interesting.
If you visit Geoff's site (see related link below), you will find infos about the ARM7-based Home Computer from Geoff Graham. It uses an SD-Card as a storage, and it needs a PC USB-keyboard and a VGA monitor. A nice case seems to be also existing:


A detailed description of the hardware features can be found at http://geoffg.net/CMM2_Description.html. At least it will run with a 480MHz CPU, that should be fast enough.

It uses MMBASIC, which is a modern BASIC interpreter also with some structured computer language elements (no need for line numbers).

Just take a look at it and judge for yourself if it's worth to be used.

P.S.: There are 2 articles existing in a Magazine named "Silicon Chip", see http://www.siliconchip.com.au/Issue/202 ... s=nonflash ...

P.P.S.: You can buy also kits >here<.
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Text Adventure Kit written in pure GWBASIC, a map editor and generator for Text Adventures 
Thursday, May 21, 2020, 07:29 PM
Posted by Administrator
This is a demo of a Text Adventure Kit, a Map Editor and Generator for a Text Adventure, totally written in GWBASIC, running with DOS.
But the generated Text Adventure BASIC source code will also run with CP/M and MBASIC, with DOS and GWBASIC, QBASIC or any QB compiler, with Linux and FreeBASIC, or with any newer WINDOWS and PC-BASIC 2.02 or QB64.

This looks very basic, but look at the generated adventure code !

I started with a simple map, drawn by hand.


Then I converted it to the 11x11 map, result see here:


It shows even with ancient computer software, something creative can be done. Download it at my page http://www.z80.eu/basic2.html or here (related link below).

The video at >> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpRq4IFYQTg << shows the Editor and Generator in action, and shows afterwards the gameplay to the created map.

A few pictures of the gameplay (from the generated text adventure):


Just started...


Got gold.


Killed the monster (with the sword, found before)

It was quite a pain to program it just in GWBASIC, not in a more modern version of BASIC (like QBASIC or Visual BASIC), but I wanted to show what still can be done with ancient software.

For those who creates a more sophisticated generated text adventure with it (remember you can edit the generated source code and so the text which is shown during the text adventure game play !), I will send also the source code of the editor (standard download is a compiled version).
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