VOGONS


First post, by fronzel

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Most of the CGA fans around here probably know most of the appz and tools here, but still i just wanted to share my collection. I ONLY upload freeware/Shareware/demos, so no copyright problems.

I mostly collect old monochrome CGA based palmtops like HP 100LX, Tidalwave clones, Sharp PC-3000 and so on. But i think some stuff might also be interesting for users of similar machines using CGA (Not necessarily only monochrome) and PC speakers.

So let's get started with some basic CGA/PC Speaker Technical demonstrations:

XP CGA

- Yay my first demo for CGA/PC Speaker. Actually simulates loading of windows XP. Of course totally 1337 as its made by me. Well not really. But it still looks cute. Optimized for monochrome CGA in 640x200. Runs on any 8086.

http://www.tankraider.com/userup/1327496053.zip

ATOM

- A pretty simple CGA demo that does not have any real graphics, more of text effects. On color screens the "animation" is pretty nice though. Noteworthy - one of the few early demos that used the PC speaker to play back digitized sound. The demo is from Fox of "Sorcerers" (probably around 1989-1990)

http://www.tankraider.com/userup/1327257724.zip

SHOLIDAY

- Actually rather like "summer holiday" i think. Small and short demo with a nice handdrawn CGA screen and some digitized sound on your PC speaker. Also by Sorcerers.

http://www.tankraider.com/userup/1327338946.zip

NOPE

- Again a demo by Sorcerers. Graphics wise not really impressive but a nice smooth scrolling CGA marquee. Also awesome digitized music for your PC speaker with realtime equalizer (Well maybe not so impressive).

http://www.tankraider.com/userup/1327347549.zip

MUSHROOM

- The legendary mushroom demo. If you ever heard digitized sound demos on a PC speaker chances are good you already know it. At least around 1990 or so it was very popular and impressive to anyone who thought a PC speaker could only beep. On Non-piezo speakers this actually sounds amazingly nice

http://www.tankraider.com/userup/1327336168.zip

VGREET

- Probably like Virtual greeting or so? Anyways, this plays back some digitized sound greeting depending on your PC clock. SO if its in the morning this says "Good morning" via your PC speaker. pretty nifty to have in your autoexec.bat. Back in like 1988 this would have been a killer bragging app.

http://www.tankraider.com/userup/1327319753.zip

NUSOUND

- Plays back digitized sound in WAVE format through the PC speaker. Contains loads of nice demo sounds, simply easy to use and fun to play with for the PC speaker enthusiast. However on pretty large and long samples it might choke, so not really the pro choice to convert your MP3 collection to wav.

http://www.tankraider.com/userup/1327306052.zip

CVOICE

- The computer voice clock. A talking clock in your PC speaker. Well rather through your PC speaker. You get what i mean. Brag ware!

http://www.tankraider.com/userup/1327339324.zip

EVA Video player

- Full Screen video and sound seemed to be impossible on an 8 MHz monochrome CGA and PC speaker setup, but amazingly this doesn't look as bad as you might think it should. I have included a sample movie that is the trailer for "The 5th element".

http://www.tankraider.com/userup/1327339577.zip

GLCGA

- Actually rather the GRASP RUn TIME PLAYER. Grasp is some weird old animation format. Anaimations are usually just a few frames, so dont expect to ever find one going longer than a few seconds. Still nice to look at, some animations are really looking damn good on CGA (Errrr monochrome CGA i mean).

http://www.tankraider.com/userup/1327290529.zip

CGAView by Kiyote

- Kiyote is actually THE god of programming video players in basic. His CGA format just looks damn nice. Unfortunately it is a bit too slow on a machine under 10 MHz, but still among the best i ever witnessed on mono CGA. Contains a sample video.

http://www.tankraider.com/userup/1327295227.zip

LXMIDI

- Actually made especially for the HP LX series palmtops this is however BY FAR the single best midi player you will EVER see. True polyphonic experience simply gives you everything that is possible on a PC speaker. If you never heard it before then you can barely imagine how cool this is. And works fine even on the slowest processor. The mid.bat is optimized for my 8 MHz HP, but you can finetune it to work with slower machines as well. Impressive! Comes with loads of mdis from games. Includes midi1tomidi0 converter (You need to run this on most modern midis you find on the net in order to play them). Try it!

http://www.tankraider.com/userup/1327254319.zip

Mimpi 3.7

- Another midi player. Not as nice regarding sound quality as lxmidi but it comes with a nifty GUI and loads of brag features.

http://www.tankraider.com/userup/1327436712.zip

MU18F

- SHell for mimpi, allows easy loading of files and such. Nice if you use mimpi a lot.

http://www.tankraider.com/userup/1327492480.zip

3D Demos

- SImply some very basic 3D animations, pretty much elite style. But looks quite nice on the 640x200 res, so best eye candy 3D-wise i could find.

http://www.tankraider.com/userup/1327293079.zip

SLEEPON

- Actually a TSR to activate some special keys on the 100LX/200LX that are suppressed in WIn 3.0 and other appz, like the "ON" key to send the device to sleep. Interesting feature is the /I switch which reverses the monochrome display (Reverse Video)

http://www.tankraider.com/userup/1327325171.zip

MONOTONE

- Pretty simple Tracker for CGA/PC Speaker. Doesn't sound very good, but fun to toy around with.

http://www.tankraider.com/userup/1327412763.zip

...more to come soon...

Last edited by fronzel on 2012-01-25, 03:26. Edited 5 times in total.

Reply 1 of 17, by lolo799

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

I bought a HP 200LX a few months ago, of all the apps you list I only tried the EVA video player and LXMIDI, I will try the others soon.

As far as Midi players are concerned, I find GSPLAY is the best (second only to MFPLAY wich is an updated version), of course it works only with Midi interfaces (MPU-401, serial or parallel interfaces, various soundcards Midi port/daughterboards).
But as the Roland SCP-55 PCMCIA card has an enabler for the HP 100/200LX, all is well, why settle for speaker sound when you can have the real stuff?
Of course it's quite a power hungry little card, can't use it without the HP 200LX AC adapter or the PalmTop Adapter from Greystone

For PC speaker sound, you can also try qvpro with the speaker driver found at http://www.multimediaware.com/qv/snddrv/
It doesn't support CGA though.

There's also Mimpi that can play on the PC speaker, MPU-401 devices or serial Midi interface.
You can also specify the number of voices, from 1 to 8, for the PC speaker output.
mimpij3_001.png

And on the topic of PC speaker sound, you can output Adlib/SB FM sound directly to the PC speaker with a couple of Pcmcia soundcards, I made some recordings at Re: PCMCIA Sound Cards

Reply 2 of 17, by fronzel

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

I'd love to have a PCMCIA midi or sound card, but both are terribly rare (Yeah i check ebay frequently) and when they appear they unfortunately cost more than the 100LX (Funny but the 100LX was really cheap although it has the same specs as 200LX). But as you said - the midi pcmcia card makes limited sense as carrying the AC adapter and midi equip with you and always needing an AC socket kinda defeats the purpose of having a palmtop. WHich does not mean i don't want a PCMCIA midi or sound card.

qvpro looks nice, but if it doesnt run on the 100lx it is of limited use for me. On my IBM PC-110 i can run ODS; NT, WIn95/98 and even 2000 (although thats very slow) and have full VGA and a ESS (SB/SB Pro clone) sound card which is quite nice in such a tiny device.

My CGA/PC Speaker collection is obviously targeted at my palmtop collection which all share the specs "DOS", "PC Speaker" and "monochrome CGA".

Mimpi looks interesting, never heard of it, but the tip for sure made my day. Imma toy around with that and update this thread.

I still find LXMIDI amazing, i did not think this was possible on such a slow machine and just a low end piezo PC speaker.

For the 200LX i can also recommend all old sierra, lucasfilm and dynamix adventures. My favorites are "Heros Quest", Larry 3, Kings Quest 1, Secret of Monkey Island (Though some scenes are annoying without a mouse, like following the shopkeeper), Heart of China and Rise of the dragon. All of them among the best you've ever seen on monochrome CGA. I also recommend SLEEPON / I (TSR app to invert screen) for games as some games/appz disable the "on and /" key combination to invert the screen.

I also like good old "Nuclear War", but like the lucasarts and dynamix adventures it is annoying without a mouse. I wish the 100LX had a standard size serial port, that would make life easier. Maybe imma fumble together a homemade cable one day.

Reply 3 of 17, by VileR

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

heh, I remember a few of these old demos. Highly approve of this thread. *thumbs up*

FYI: currently working on a CGA "art demo" (sort of), aimed at pushing its boundaries further in a certain direction than ever really tried before. Though I expect it to be a few months before anything is ready for release, if at all.

[ WEB ] - [ BLOG ] - [ TUBE ] - [ CODE ]

Reply 4 of 17, by fronzel

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Thanks for the comment Vilerancour. I suggest you take a look at the 3DDemos, maybe you can borrow an idea or two. WHile these are not so impressive from the 3D i like them as the "1 line thick wireframe" looks very nice on a monochrome CGA screen, somehow i feel like it underlines "high resolution". With todays storage media it would also be possible to include more digitized graphics and sound in higher quality. Be sure to let me know when you finished your art demo, i have always looked for something like a "CGA MEGADEMO" but never found it.

Reply 5 of 17, by Robin4

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Can you add to your post, whats free-ware, which software are demo`s..

I really dont like demos.. But free-ware is just fine.. I think old demos arent worth to put them on my computer.. You could play only one level or so and then it quits.. I think that the most older software, is freeware now days..

~ At least it can do black and white~

Reply 6 of 17, by VileR

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
Robin4 wrote:

I think old demos arent worth to put them on my computer.. You could play only one level or so and then it quits..

"Demos" here = demoscene stuff, not game demos.

although I would also consider things like the 1984 ICONDEMO here - it was promoting a game (ICON), but at the same time doing nifty undocumented things with CGA tweaking. Might not look very impressive in monochrome though.

Since we're mentioning MIDI stuff, how about trackers - check out MONOTONE...

Attachments

  • Filename
    icondemo.zip
    File size
    21.21 KiB
    Downloads
    316 downloads
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception

[ WEB ] - [ BLOG ] - [ TUBE ] - [ CODE ]

Reply 7 of 17, by fronzel

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Yeah demos as in "graphics demos" (Well or just sound), not as in "trial versions".

I looked at mimpi and it was just impossible to use. I even speak some japanese but the manual is some unformatted text file that just comes up as glibberish and pc speaker does not seem to be the default device. I'd really be interested how to get it running though.

the icondemo might be nice on a CGA RGB screen, but on a 640x480 mono LCD its just distorted (I think its targeted at a different res) and looks silly. Adding monotone now. Sounds terrible but still nice toy.

Reply 8 of 17, by lolo799

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

You actually found a version of mimpi on the net, congratulations.
Usefull switches:
/ega
/i81~/i88 number of voices on the pc speaker
/g no graphics
/e exit the program at the end of the song
Oherwise you can exit mimpi by pressing ctrl+c then space.

Reply 9 of 17, by fronzel

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
lolo799 wrote:
You actually found a version of mimpi on the net, congratulations. Usefull switches: /ega /i81~/i88 number of voices on the pc s […]
Show full quote

You actually found a version of mimpi on the net, congratulations.
Usefull switches:
/ega
/i81~/i88 number of voices on the pc speaker
/g no graphics
/e exit the program at the end of the song
Oherwise you can exit mimpi by pressing ctrl+c then space.

thanks for the switches. /i88 finally did the trick. The sound quality is still far below lxmidi but it is the only other DOS/CGA/8086 compatible player that comes close to LXMIDI. Also i like the graphics. How did you find out these command switches, you having a japanese computer?

Anyways imma add mimipi to the list, thanks for the help!

Reply 10 of 17, by lolo799

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

There is a small tool called mu wich is a file selector for mimpi, it comes with a list of all the switches, I'll post it later unless you can find it online first.
Filename is mu18f_pc.lzh

Reply 11 of 17, by fronzel

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Very interesting, if you find it you can post it. Right now i personally dont need it so much as i tried some midis and stick to LXMIDI for now. But i can gladly add it to the list, maybe it's useful for some other PCspeaker/CGA fan.

Reply 12 of 17, by lolo799

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

The Mimpi file selection utility called MU is attached to this message.

More MIMPI switches (translated by google):

/#ccc...ccc  ‘Send MIDI Ch Changes 			  		
/BAR Bar numbers show
/CK Numeral pronunciation
/DR:drm_file Assign designated drum
/E exit after song ends
/G Screen initialization ban
/In Specify I / F to be used
/I0 MPU-401 at port 330h
/IA:xxx MPU-401 at port xxx
/I1 COM1 31.25Kbps
/I12 COM2 31.25Kbps
/I2 KEY ELECTORONICS MIDIator on COM1
/I22 KEY ELECTORONICS MIDIator on COM2
/I3 COM1 38.4Kbps
/I3 COM2 38.4Kbps
/I51~/I56 FMsound
/I81~/I88 BEEP
/CMD /GSD /MT Specify OFF for each instrument
/MV1 Mst.Vol.->Part Vol.
/MV2 Mst.Vol.->Part Exp.
/GS /SC /SC2 Reset mode
/PA song is on pause at start
/Z:tempo Fast-forward to the measure specified.
/KTn Key shift
/LA PCM->LA Conversion
/Mttt¥¥ttt Mute
/P:pho_file PHO file specified
/PT:pcm_tone PCM sound file specification
/R Reset prohibited source
/RLn Reverb Level
/RMn Reverb mode
/RTn Reverb time
/STD Preferred Standard MIDI FILE
/TC Number Track -> MIDI Ch
/Tn Fine-tuning the tempo
/T:def_file Definition file specification
/W:wrd_file WRD file specified
/Ln Repeat count setting performance
/N Send ban CM6/MTD

fronzel, I'm curious, how much did you pay for your 100LX?

Attachments

  • Filename
    MU18F_PC.zip
    File size
    22.36 KiB
    Downloads
    315 downloads
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception

Reply 13 of 17, by fronzel

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Thanks for the tool, imma add it to the list after i played a bit with it. You must be really doing a lot with midi that you find such an obscure helper tool for an obscure japanese midi player.

For my 100LX i actually only paid like 30 Euro (Around 40 USD) on ebay Germany. Ironically the 200LX machines usually sell for like 3-4 times of that price here in germany although they are technically the same (I think the 100LX lacks the quicken software, yeah shocker!). I just wish the serial cables were more affordable, i sometimes could really use a mouse.

I also like my Sharp PC-3000/PC-3100 although they are larger and more "bitching" about CF cards, but the keyboard of the Sharp machines is really nice if you type a lot. Whats really nice about the sharps is that you can use the memory over 640 KB as RAMDISK (like the HP) or as EMM (Nifty!).

Reply 14 of 17, by lolo799

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

There are a few japanese books about the HP 200LX, one of them (wich I have) is the "HP 200LX Hardware Bible", it comes with a CD full (well 30MB full) of drivers of utilities for the 100/200LX.
That's where I found Mimpi and its file selection tool.
http://homepage3.nifty.com/kokuryu/200LX/BUNKEN.HTM
http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~kc4y-ymj/200lx/lxhon.html

Only 30 euros, I see why you find PCMCIA sound cards expensive.
I paid my 200LX 150 euros, wich is still less than what it goes for on ebay France.
I don't have a serial cable either, I use a CD-rom drive audio cable, some loose wires and a null-modem cable.
I also have a low power pcmcia serial card somewhere.

There is an EMS driver for the 100/200LX at http://www.hp200lx.net/cgi-bin/search.cgi?Cat=Driver

You wrote earlier that you had an IBM PC110, how good is it?
Sorry for the off-topic.

Reply 15 of 17, by fronzel

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Thanks for your reply! Ahhh yeah i didnt know these books come with a CD. Seen them on Yahoo Auctions Japan but never bothered buying as i thought its "just old books". Seems i was wrong.

Wow yeah 150 EUro is definitely a lot. Well not what they originally costed, but we're getting closer to that.

The EMS driver is absolutely awesome. Didnt know that was possible.

The PC-110 is a neat toy. I have the one with RAM "maxed" (Without mad soldering skills that is) to 20 MB. Imho the most impressive device IBM ever made, its prolly breaking all their records for a laptop. Smallest, first with SSD (For IBM), first with CF slot, first with a touchpad and so on.

If it's "good" for YOU depends on what you do with it. For todays terms its rather slow, lacks USB and RAM. If you love win 95 (That is considerably fast even on sub 20 MB versions) and never need USB or anything then you will love it. The cool fact is that it eats standard Sony Camcorder batteries which are like 10 bucks each and run the box for like 5-6 hours.

A cute toy, but more of a collectable. If you want a very small machine for daily use i recommend the Onkyo BX which unlike the similar Kohjinsha actually has a mouse (I find a pure touchscreen terrible). Cant have a smaller laptop.

Reply 16 of 17, by lolo799

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Some CGA/8086 demos and utilities can be found at ftp://ftp.scene.org/mirrors/hornet/code/conte … /8086/info.html

There is also a 8086 modplayer that supports the PC speaker on the same page.