TANDY Dos-Gaming-Thread (1000RL/HD)

Discussion about old PC hardware.

Re: TANDY Dos-Gaming-Thread (1000RL/HD)

Postby BinaryDemon » 2019-3-31 @ 22:59

Benedikt wrote:Regarding the 640x200x16 mode:

I'm currently fiddling around with some TSR code that pretends to set VGA's 320x200x256 mode 13h while actually setting the Tandy mode.
Since that mode has a compatible memory layout, every 256 color pixel will simply show up as a pair of 16 color pixels.


That's seriously cool, you need a demo video.
Check out DOSBox Distro:

https://sites.google.com/site/dosboxdistro/ [*]

a lightweight Linux distro (tinycore) which boots off a usb flash drive and goes straight to DOSBox.

Make your dos retrogaming experience portable!
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Re: TANDY Dos-Gaming-Thread (1000RL/HD)

Postby Benedikt » 2019-4-01 @ 10:58

I do not have a demo video, right now, but I do have screenshots (DosBox) of a simple demo:

fire_13h.png
Fire demo in genuine mode 13h (320x200x256)

fire_13h_tsr_on_tandy_640x200x16.png
Fire demo in mode 13h imitation (640x200x16 on Tandy via TSR)

This is unfortunately also a demo of the limitations, because the code relies on the exact values in video RAM and the pixel data therefore cannot be converted to the required palette.
That, however, would require code modifications, anyway. Unmodified code can only give a visually appealing result if there are external artwork files that can be converted, separately.
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Re: TANDY Dos-Gaming-Thread (1000RL/HD)

Postby Cloudschatze » 2019-4-03 @ 18:03

Benedikt wrote:I'm currently fiddling around with some TSR code that pretends to set VGA's 320x200x256 mode 13h while actually setting the Tandy mode..

Palette discrepancies notwithstanding, one interesting use-case is the ability to get more colors out of Windows 3.0 (than the available 640x200x4 driver provides) through use of the MCGA driver.

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Re: TANDY Dos-Gaming-Thread (1000RL/HD)

Postby dr.zeissler » 2019-4-03 @ 18:54

That's cool.
CPU: PII 133-333 MOBO: SNI-D981 RAM: 512- FDD: Dualfloppy 3,5"HD/5,25"HD - 3,5"HD - 5,25"DD ISA-Catweasel HDD: 2x40GB - DVD
ISA(3): Audician32-S2Dreamblaster - GusACE PCI(3): Monster3D- Intel NW AGP(1): 3dfx V3-3000
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Re: TANDY Dos-Gaming-Thread (1000RL/HD)

Postby Benedikt » 2019-4-05 @ 16:33

I put this VGA/MCGA mode 13h emulation TSR driver for Tandy Video II on github, today.
It also does some sanity checks, now, can be unloaded and can fool basic int 10h based MCGA detection.
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Re: TANDY Dos-Gaming-Thread (1000RL/HD)

Postby Cloudschatze » 2019-4-05 @ 22:49

dr.zeissler wrote:That's cool.

It's not currently applicable to the RL, unfortunately, given the 80186+ opcodes involved. With the driver patching required to change that, it might make more sense for someone to just create a native ETGA driver instead.

I've taken the expansion adapter approach though, and am getting 1024x768x256 out of the RL in Windows 3.0. ;)

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Re: TANDY Dos-Gaming-Thread (1000RL/HD)

Postby dr.zeissler » 2019-4-06 @ 06:20

expansion adapter = external ISA backplane with VGA card?
CPU: PII 133-333 MOBO: SNI-D981 RAM: 512- FDD: Dualfloppy 3,5"HD/5,25"HD - 3,5"HD - 5,25"DD ISA-Catweasel HDD: 2x40GB - DVD
ISA(3): Audician32-S2Dreamblaster - GusACE PCI(3): Monster3D- Intel NW AGP(1): 3dfx V3-3000
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Re: TANDY Dos-Gaming-Thread (1000RL/HD)

Postby Cloudschatze » 2019-4-06 @ 19:06

dr.zeissler wrote:expansion adapter = external ISA backplane with VGA card?

No, nothing so elaborate; just a Diamond SpeedStar occupying the single expansion slot. I still use the onboard TGAII video chipset where applicable though, in conjunction with the CM-5 monitor and use of the VSRES/VSWITCH utilities. It's a fairly flexible setup.

As configuration changes go, I'd swapped-out the PAS16 for a standard, Cirrus-based VGA card some time ago, and only recently swapped that again for the more-capable SpeedStar. The loss of sound and music capabilities provided by the PAS16 was/is regrettable, but I'm yet able to get MIDI output through the serial port for Sierra titles, so there's that... ;)
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Re: TANDY Dos-Gaming-Thread (1000RL/HD)

Postby Benedikt » 2019-5-14 @ 13:22

A little update related to my Hi-Res Tandy mode experiments:

We got the 640x200 16-color mode working in Planet X3.
I used the technique described above, i.e. the program will now switch to that mode and run every byte of the VGA artwork through a pre-computed lookup table at some point.

The code should be fully 8088 compatible and everything runs fine in DOSBox.
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Re: TANDY Dos-Gaming-Thread (1000RL/HD)

Postby Cloudschatze » 2019-5-16 @ 05:39


I just bought a copy of the game because of your efforts. The TGAII graphics support works great, and looks fantastic, on the Tandy 1000 RL. :)
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Re: TANDY Dos-Gaming-Thread (1000RL/HD)

Postby Hamby » 2019-5-18 @ 08:44

Cloudschatze wrote:

I just bought a copy of the game because of your efforts. The TGAII graphics support works great, and looks fantastic, on the Tandy 1000 RL. :)


it's available for sale now, or are you one of the crowdfunders?
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Re: TANDY Dos-Gaming-Thread (1000RL/HD)

Postby infiniteclouds » 2019-5-18 @ 09:07

It's finally available for sale the past few weeks. I ordered mine on his site and got it very quickly.
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