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

Getting old software/games running on older 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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Re: TANDY Dos-Gaming-Thread (1000RL/HD)

Postby Cloudschatze » 2019-6-26 @ 19:00

I don't feel like cross-posting the entire thing, but for the RL and RLX owners, here's a simple means of getting MIDI output from your system:

A Trick up Its Sleeve - MIDI with the Tandy PSSJ
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Re: TANDY Dos-Gaming-Thread (1000RL/HD)

Postby MrSmiley381 » 2019-6-27 @ 12:39

Is there any real reason to use a VGA card with a Tandy 1000 TL? I know it's possible to switch between the built-in video and the VGA card pretty easily. I'm just wondering if there are any games that would really run well in VGA mode. I have a multi-system setup, so I've got plenty of options. Definitely interested in seeing how far that Mode 13h code can take me.

VGA Multimedia Setup (Pending good reason):
XT-CF
XT-SVGA
BlasterBoard
CMS Clone
MusicQuest MPU-401 Clone

Balanced Setup (Most likely):
XT-IDE
3C503-TP
BlasterBoard
CMS Clone
MusicQuest MPU-401 Clone

I could also fiddle with a serial/parallel card and a Xircom parallel ethernet adapter or EMS, but I don't think I really need another serial port that badly. That being said, the more I can make this goofy little box do, the better.
I spend my days fighting with clunky software so I can afford to spend my evenings fighting with clunky hardware.
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Re: TANDY Dos-Gaming-Thread (1000RL/HD)

Postby dr.zeissler » 2019-6-27 @ 17:17

Cloudschatze wrote:I don't feel like cross-posting the entire thing, but for the RL and RLX owners, here's a simple means of getting MIDI output from your system:

A Trick up Its Sleeve - MIDI with the Tandy PSSJ


That's really cool. No additional software needed?
If Dune2 runs on 8086/9.5Mhz it can perhaps work on 286/8Mhz... I think I should do the test on my bridgeboard :)
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 dr.zeissler » 2019-6-27 @ 17:19

MrSmiley381 wrote:Is there any real reason to use a VGA card with a Tandy 1000 TL? I know it's possible to switch between the built-in video and the VGA card pretty easily. I'm just wondering if there are any games that would really run well in VGA mode. I have a multi-system setup, so I've got plenty of options. Definitely interested in seeing how far that Mode 13h code can take me.

VGA Multimedia Setup (Pending good reason):
XT-CF
XT-SVGA
BlasterBoard
CMS Clone
MusicQuest MPU-401 Clone

Balanced Setup (Most likely):
XT-IDE
3C503-TP
BlasterBoard
CMS Clone
MusicQuest MPU-401 Clone

I could also fiddle with a serial/parallel card and a Xircom parallel ethernet adapter or EMS, but I don't think I really need another serial port that badly. That being said, the more I can make this goofy little box do, the better.


I use an XT-IDE adapter with my T1000 RL/HD. I will perhaps change von EGA-CRT to a TFT which accepts TTL or a converter for the TTL to analog video.
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 rmay635703 » 2019-6-27 @ 17:25

Cloudschatze wrote:I don't feel like cross-posting the entire thing, but for the RL and RLX owners, here's a simple means of getting MIDI output from your system:

A Trick up Its Sleeve - MIDI with the Tandy PSSJ


And here I was hoping it would be emulated through the onboard speaker in 3+1 voices ;)
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Re: TANDY Dos-Gaming-Thread (1000RL/HD)

Postby Cloudschatze » 2019-7-08 @ 21:23

MrSmiley381 wrote:Is there any real reason to use a VGA card with a Tandy 1000 TL?

It's completely subjective. I find that adding a VGA card to a Tandy system greatly expands its versatility, where others prefer using just the onboard video.

dr.zeissler wrote:


That's really cool. No additional software needed?

Nope. It's just a matter of setting the appropriate UART baud rate and using modified MIDI drivers.

If Dune2 runs on 8086/9.5Mhz it can perhaps work on 286/8Mhz...

The actual gameplay is quite slow on the RL. With a 286/8MHz system, it ought to be decently playable.
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Re: TANDY Dos-Gaming-Thread (1000RL/HD)

Postby dr.zeissler » 2019-7-08 @ 21:45

I checked it out, unplayable on 286/8.
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 MrSmiley381 » 2019-7-14 @ 14:51

It looks like I'm not the only who has had issue with an XT-IDE on a Tandy machine. I've got one that I've flashed both in basic XT mode as well AT + fast mode, at ports 300/308 and 320/328, boot device port 80/81, with everything always jumpered accordingly. Boot device is a 512 megabyte flash DOM with DOS 6.22 installed using another machine. Whenever I go to boot my Tandy 1000 TL, it always skips the XT-IDE boot BIOS. If I exit Deskmate and execute Restart.com on the flash C: drive, it will boot the XT-IDE BIOS and then lock the system shortly after it recognizes the installed flash DOM. Keyboard is unresponsive, implying there's a resource conflict. Any ideas what witchcraft I've brought upon myself?

EDIT: Downloaded the absolute latest code from the XT-IDE repository, tricked MINGW32 into working correctly, rebuilt all the BIOS files and configurator executable, reconfigured the basic XT BIOS, and now DOS is booting. I was even able to run the SETUPTL file I had hand-dropped on the DOM to configure the machine to boot from the XT-IDE rather than straight to Deskmate. Now it's time to see how advanced of a BIOS I can flash and still have the machine run.

SUPEREDIT: Successfully have the XT-IDE running in fast mode with the 8088-plus (V20) BIOS. Went through some shenanigans to install Duke Nukem on the drive using another PC, then played it on the Tandy using an "Ultimate EGA+" card and a Tandy CoCo 3 -> Genesis controller adapter, which worked with a six-button pad without having to hold down the Mode button at boot or anything like that. I guess next adventures would be in acquiring a nice 8-bit VGA card, installing Windows 3.0 and DeskMate, and experimenting with Ethernet over serial and laplink data transfer.
I spend my days fighting with clunky software so I can afford to spend my evenings fighting with clunky hardware.
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