Just saying hi..

Say Hello... tell us your what you know, and what you're interested in learning!
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Please say hello... tell us what systems & CPU's you can program, and what you're interested in learning!
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FourSeasons
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2019 7:38 pm

Just saying hi..

Post by FourSeasons » Mon Dec 09, 2019 11:21 pm

Hi ? && *

This is just me saying hi and giving kudos to Keith for creating this frankly astonishing resource for retro-developers. I'm finding the breadth of material he's created and the pace at which he's still producing it mindblowing. Seriously, good job dude!

My background is that I grew up in the UK during the microcomputer boom of the late 70's and 80's. I started out doing hobby electronics projects on breadboards etc. but got turned on to programming when a friend got a ZX-80.

I got to play with many of the machines of the era in W.H.Smith (a newsagent chain in the UK) and Laskey's (a long defunct electronics retailer) and even managed to get some type-in listings published.

Later I completed a degree in electronic/computer engineering which lead into jobs working on embedded and related systems. That's not where the money was, though, and so I got sucked into developing more lucrative but dull line-of-business CRUD applications instead.

Now being older and having more free time I find myself being drawn back to these machines.

The Gameboy is the platform I'm going to focus on for now. Back in the day I was always more of a Z80 guy and the Gameboy's hardware has some endearingly quirky features. In some ways the limitations like its teeny-tiny screen make it more interesting to work with, kind of a programming equivalent of writing haiku if you will.

Anyway, I guess that's enough to start with.

Nick R.

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Gee-k
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat May 04, 2019 9:35 am
Location: Scotland
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Re: Just saying hi..

Post by Gee-k » Tue Dec 10, 2019 12:13 pm

Hi Nick,
Nice to see more and more people joining Keith's forums.
Isn't he a gent for setting all this up!

I seem to have a similar feeling on working on these older system. I love trying to make things work on them when they are so limited (compared with todays computers). Yet people can still make some amazing things on them. Pinball dreams on the Amstrad CPC 6128 for example.
You don't fail, You learn how it's not done.
https://www.gee-k.net : Where I blog about my random geeky goings on.

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akuyou
Posts: 463
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Re: Just saying hi..

Post by akuyou » Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:19 pm

Thanks for joining the forums, really interesting to hear your 'back story', and I'm glad you're finding my content interesting.

It sounds like your experience is rather different to mine - my side of things was only software, and really only pretty run of the mill stuff - the ASM programming was something I only got into over the past few years.

It sounds like from your reference to breadboards, and electronic engineering and embedded systems that you have a much more interesting background... Sadly I have only enough electronic skills to know which of the soldering iron to hold!... ok a slight exaggeration but it's an area I feel I would like to improve on some day.

I hope you have fun with the gameboy, starting with the CPC (the system i grew up with) the GBZ80 feels a little bit frustrating, but it's a great system really, and as you say it's a cute platform... I also believe it's one of the most popular... My 'Introduction to gameboy' video does better than all the other systems... so if you complete a game or app for the GB then there should be a good audience for it!

Have fun! :Cheers:
Keith
Chibi Akuma(s) Comedy-Horror 8-bit Bullet Hell shooter! // 「チビ悪魔」可笑しいゴシックSTG ! // Work in Progress: ChibiAliens

Interested in CPU's :Z80,6502,68000,6809,ARM,8086,RISC-V
Learning: 65816,ARM,8086,6809

FourSeasons
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2019 7:38 pm

Re: Just saying hi..

Post by FourSeasons » Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:01 pm

Gee-k wrote: Tue Dec 10, 2019 12:13 pm Isn't he [Keith] a gent for setting all this up!
Agreed! Having a shared watering hole like this where like minded folks can meet and bounce ideas and enthusiasm off each other can make a huge difference. Writing some cool sprite routine is so much more rewarding when you can share it with people who understand just how much work and ingenuity went into it's creation.
Gee-k wrote: Tue Dec 10, 2019 12:13 pm I love trying to make things work on them when they are so limited (compared with todays computers).
Yes! This, exactly!

It's not just that the machines are so restricted but that the tools are so limited too. If you're writing Java code, say, in a modern dev. environment it basically won't let you type in anything wrong and well tested, pre-canned libraries for anything you could reasonably want to do are just a couple of clicks away. With my gbz80 code I had to come up with my own cart header files (this is was before I found Keith's videos and this site) and have spent hours scratching my head trying to work out why my code didn't run for what turned out in the end to be minor typos.
Gee-k wrote: Tue Dec 10, 2019 12:13 pm Pinball dreams on the Amstrad CPC 6128 for example.
Thanks for the recommendation; I'm not familiar with that one. I'll go check it out later today.

For what it's worth, my favorite Gameboy game by a country mile is Revenge of the Gator by Hal Labs. It's not that technically impressive, but it has just the right level of fun, casual gameplay to make waiting for the bus fly by.

[youtube] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKeoPSPm4kw [/youtube]

FourSeasons
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2019 7:38 pm

Re: Just saying hi..

Post by FourSeasons » Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:20 pm

akuyou wrote: Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:19 pm It sounds like your experience is rather different to mine .. you have a much more interesting background.
I think there's probably more overlap here than you might expect. I just started from a different place, that's all.

The embedded work I did mostly amounted to just pushing values into some registers of a PIO/SIO chip, waiting for the approved sensor delay, reading back the value from another register and logging it. Rinse, repeat.

One program might be reading the current state of a joystick, another reading the day's rainfall in some farmer's field. Two different applications but with both using remarkably similar code (and likely both z80).

Honestly, I think I could make a really compelling argument for the game code being way more interesting. :)

FourSeasons
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2019 7:38 pm

Re: Just saying hi..

Post by FourSeasons » Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:52 pm

On the subject of programming haiku, I'm frankly embarassed by how much time I spent on this one:

Made it; final boss
But carry flag not cleared
The console resets

Haunting, don't you think. :-)

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akuyou
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Re: Just saying hi..

Post by akuyou » Thu Dec 12, 2019 3:37 am

Heh, very good! :lol:
Chibi Akuma(s) Comedy-Horror 8-bit Bullet Hell shooter! // 「チビ悪魔」可笑しいゴシックSTG ! // Work in Progress: ChibiAliens

Interested in CPU's :Z80,6502,68000,6809,ARM,8086,RISC-V
Learning: 65816,ARM,8086,6809

EvilSandwich
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2019 7:36 am

Re: Just saying hi..

Post by EvilSandwich » Sat Dec 14, 2019 2:53 pm

I'm a relative newbie to coding in general, but I've been drawn to it very recently due to my weird of trying to learn new stuff seemingly completely at random.

It's nice to see another pro here, to balance out an overenthusiastic hobbyist like me lol

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