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First post, by radiance32

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Hi all,

I am looking for one or more people who have a PC compatible machine with any of the following CPUs: 8086, 8088, NEC v20, NEC v30, 80186,
to help me test a brand new version of the modified GM driver for Sierra SCI0 games that is patched to allow sierra SCI0 games to drive
a Serdaco S2P GM MIDI parallel port synth.

The driver was only working on 286 and up systems, and several people have helped me debugging the driver to make it work on pre 286 CPUs.
I have tested the newly fixed driver on my HP 200LX palmtop with a 80186 CPU, and it's work fine, however, it should now also work with other pre-286 CPUs.

I have produced a video of 15 minutes of Leisure Suit Larry III running on my HP 200LX Palmtop PC with a PCMCIA -> parallel port adapter and a Serdaco S2P,
on my brand-new "HP Palmtop tube" YouTube video channel for HP DOS Palmtop enthusiasts.

It's worth watching as it shows the reasonably successful re-mapping of the game's MT-32 instruments to GM instruments, and it sounds pretty good,
it's different than an MT-32 for sure, the instruments sound different, but the music is definately ok and very good as background game music:

YouTube: HP 200LX with S2P GM MIDI synth plays Leisure Suit Larry 3
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnBLijJ87EE

If you have the required hardware, would you mind installing one of the SCI0 games, I will provide a list of these games here:

Leisure Suit Larry II and III
Police Quest 2
Space Quest 3
King's Quest 4
Hero's Quest 1 (also called Quest for Glory 1, note that Hero's Quest 2 will not work with this driver as it's not a pure SCI0 generation game)

You can download the driver here:
https://github.com/pdewacht/s2ptools/releases/tag/20211031
(it's in the s2ptools.zip archive, originally called the RAVI GM.DRV driver, now called the S2P.DRV driver)

Just copy the S2P.DRV file into the game directory and run the install binary that comes with the game,
and you should see a GM over LPT driver you can select from the list of soundcards supported.
Then, make sure your S2P is connected to your LPT1 parallel port and fire up the game.

I would really appreciate it if you could please post your experience, your system specifications (including the exact type of CPU you have) and if the game and S2P GM MIDI sound works or not, or any other anomaly.
If it works fine, please also make a post so we know it works on a system like yours...

It's pretty important having a driver for pre 286 CPU systems as many people who will want to use a parallel port GM MIDI sound card will be using it on an old and/or portable machine,
which likely won't have a 286 or higher CPU...

Thank you very much for you time in helping me out,
I'm looking forward to reading other users experiences in this thread...

Yours,
radiance32

PS: Check out my brand new youtube channel, it's only been up for about 2 weeks now,
it's called the "HP Palmtop Tube" channel and it's a channel focused on MS-DOS Palmtops from HP from the early 90's.
There's videos of the S2P, OPL3LPT and CVX4 (covox clone) playing games and MOD files on the HP 200LX palmtop,
and I published a long, detailed and narrated video of Ventura Publisher the day before yesterday...
Here's the channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCVChzZ62a-c4MdJWyRwdCQ

I could use more views, likes and subscribers, to get the channel off the ground 😀

Last edited by radiance32 on 2021-11-10, 22:13. Edited 1 time in total.

Check out my HP Palmtop YouTube Channel! https://www.youtube.com/user/refractivesoftware

Reply 2 of 19, by radiance32

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carlostex wrote on 2021-11-02, 17:48:

I would if i had a S2P.

However i can test with my normal GM devices, all i should do is patch MOV DX, 0378h to MOV DX, xxx being xxx the address i need right?

Hi,

Thanks for taking an interest 😀
I guess you could try...

I've noticed that if it does'nt work, the game freezes just after you launch it, with an empty screen.

Let me know of your endevours...

If there's anyone else that reads this post that does have a 8086/88/v20/v30/186 and an S2P,
please let me know here and it would be great if you can test the driver and report your findings...

Thanks,
Terrence

Check out my HP Palmtop YouTube Channel! https://www.youtube.com/user/refractivesoftware

Reply 3 of 19, by radiance32

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carlostex wrote on 2021-11-02, 17:48:

I would if i had a S2P.

However i can test with my normal GM devices, all i should do is patch MOV DX, 0378h to MOV DX, xxx being xxx the address i need right?

Hi,

I'm not %100 sure, I did'nt write the driver and the fix,
but, it could work, give it a go and let me know if you can get it to work...

Radiance

Check out my HP Palmtop YouTube Channel! https://www.youtube.com/user/refractivesoftware

Reply 4 of 19, by Hezus

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Pretty cool how you got that midi working on the HP Palmtop 😀 I do own a few XT class machines but not a S2P. I've got several MIDI devices such as the MT32 and SC88, in case you need testing for those.

Visit my YT Channel!

Reply 5 of 19, by radiance32

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Hezus wrote on 2021-11-06, 08:07:

Pretty cool how you got that midi working on the HP Palmtop 😀 I do own a few XT class machines but not a S2P. I've got several MIDI devices such as the MT32 and SC88, in case you need testing for those.

Hi Hezus,

Thanks for replying 😀
Unfortunately I need someone with an S2P to test this... 🙁
I'm hoping someone who owns one will see this thread and make a post offering help to test the fixed driver on a 8086/8088 machine...
What you could do is fire up the game with the driver, and if it freezes with a blank screen, probably the fix does'nt work on 8086 machines.
Whereas if the game starts but complains it can't find the sound card, it should work.
I'm speculating here though... To be sure it really works someone with an S2P should try it...

But thanks anyway for offering to help out, i'll make a note of you and your setup and if I need someone with your setup I'll drop you a PM 😀

Cheers,
Radiance

Check out my HP Palmtop YouTube Channel! https://www.youtube.com/user/refractivesoftware

Reply 6 of 19, by Zalog

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radiance32 wrote on 2021-11-06, 22:52:

Unfortunately I need someone with an S2P to test this... 🙁
I'm hoping someone who owns one will see this thread and make a post offering help to test the fixed driver on a 8086/8088 machine...

😊 I have a S2P and willing to test. I have a Amstrad PC3086 with a NEC V30 fitted and an Amstrad PC5086 with a 8086 fitted which I could test this on - which would you prefer ?. It may take me a few days to test on the 8086 as I'm fitting a few new things to it at the moment and its in bits - but could test the V30 tomorrow if that's ok ?

Reply 7 of 19, by radiance32

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Zalog wrote on 2021-11-07, 10:33:
radiance32 wrote on 2021-11-06, 22:52:

Unfortunately I need someone with an S2P to test this... 🙁
I'm hoping someone who owns one will see this thread and make a post offering help to test the fixed driver on a 8086/8088 machine...

😊 I have a S2P and willing to test. I have a Amstrad PC3086 with a NEC V30 fitted and an Amstrad PC5086 with a 8086 fitted which I could test this on - which would you prefer ?. It may take me a few days to test on the 8086 as I'm fitting a few new things to it at the moment and its in bits - but could test the V30 tomorrow if that's ok ?

Hi,

I think the 8086 CPU would be the best to test as it's at the "bottom" of the series 😀
But, if you want to test another one or all of them, be my guest 😀

I'm looking forward to seeing your results 😀

Cheers and I really appreciate your help!,
Terrence

Check out my HP Palmtop YouTube Channel! https://www.youtube.com/user/refractivesoftware

Reply 9 of 19, by radiance32

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Zalog wrote on 2021-11-08, 08:17:

Have just tested using Space Quest 3 on the PC3086 (NEC V30) - it looks like there is an error ?

DSC_3287.JPG

HI,

Can you open the resource.cfg file in a text editor and manually change the driver in there ?
Just change it from ADL.DRV (if you're set to adlib sound, or any other audio driver currently used in the file to S2P.DRV)
Also, make sure the new GM driver is in the directory and is called S2P.DRV

I've seen this issue happen with me too.
I could'nt launch the install program to change the driver, so i had to do it manually in the resource.cfg file.
I'll bring this to the attention of the driver's developer...

Thanks!,
Terrence

Check out my HP Palmtop YouTube Channel! https://www.youtube.com/user/refractivesoftware

Reply 10 of 19, by Zalog

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radiance32 wrote on 2021-11-08, 21:43:

Can you open the resource.cfg file in a text editor and manually change the driver in there ?

Hi Terrence,

I can confirm it works after manually editing the resource.cfg ! - I've tried it on Space Quest 3, Laura Bow 1: The Colonel's Bequest and Codename Iceman - all three of these work with the driver, but need the manual edit of the .cfg file first. The games play fine and I haven't spotted any problems during the quick play test's I did.

I've attached a few recordings for you to listen to, to judge the success of the S2P - apologies if the recordings are less than perfect quality as I did them quickly on my dictaphone - but they should give folks an idea of how its performing.

Space Quest 3 -

Filename
SQ3_S2P.MP3
File size
1.25 MiB
Downloads
3 downloads
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

Laura Bow 1 -

Filename
LBOW1_INTRO_S2P.MP3
File size
955.38 KiB
Downloads
4 downloads
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

Codename Iceman -

Filename
ICEMAN_S2P.MP3
File size
1.53 MiB
Downloads
3 downloads
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

Just for your records the specs of the Amstrad PC3086 I used are, NEC V30 Processor (@8Mhz), 640KB Base Ram, 128KB Upper memory, XT-IDE (1GB CF Card), MS-DOS 5.0.

Will test on the 8086 equipped Amstrad PC5086 when I get a chance (hopefully in the next few days).........

Reply 11 of 19, by radiance32

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Zalog wrote on 2021-11-09, 19:52:
Hi Terrence, […]
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radiance32 wrote on 2021-11-08, 21:43:

Can you open the resource.cfg file in a text editor and manually change the driver in there ?

Hi Terrence,

I can confirm it works after manually editing the resource.cfg ! - I've tried it on Space Quest 3, Laura Bow 1: The Colonel's Bequest and Codename Iceman - all three of these work with the driver, but need the manual edit of the .cfg file first. The games play fine and I haven't spotted any problems during the quick play test's I did.

I've attached a few recordings for you to listen to, to judge the success of the S2P - apologies if the recordings are less than perfect quality as I did them quickly on my dictaphone - but they should give folks an idea of how its performing.

Space Quest 3 - SQ3_S2P.MP3
Laura Bow 1 - LBOW1_INTRO_S2P.MP3
Codename Iceman - ICEMAN_S2P.MP3

Just for your records the specs of the Amstrad PC3086 I used are, NEC V30 Processor (@8Mhz), 640KB Base Ram, 128KB Upper memory, XT-IDE (1GB CF Card), MS-DOS 5.0.

Will test on the 8086 equipped Amstrad PC5086 when I get a chance (hopefully in the next few days).........

that's great 😀
Very interested to find out if it's the same result on a pure 8086 CPU 😀
Looking forward to it 😀

Thanks,
Terrence

Check out my HP Palmtop YouTube Channel! https://www.youtube.com/user/refractivesoftware

Reply 12 of 19, by Zalog

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radiance32 wrote on 2021-11-09, 23:22:

Very interested to find out if it's the same result on a pure 8086 CPU 😀
Looking forward to it 😀

Well spurred on by the success of the V30, I worked late into the night to get the PC5086 back together and do some testing.
I can confirm it works on all of the previous games I tested (obviously manually modifying the resource.cfg file), and all seems ok with the S2P.
I also tested Kings Quest 1 (VGA remake) - as this a tough one for the PC5086 - and the game still runs (music below) so I think you've been successful with the driver - abet the issue with the install program needs fixing !

Kings Quest 1 (VGA Remake) S2P -

Filename
KQ1VGA_S2P.mp3
File size
958.89 KiB
Downloads
3 downloads
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

Actually I think my S2P may have found its home on my Amstrad PC5086 - its a very small box and the only two ISA slots are taken (unlike the PC3086 which has 4 !) - so the unused parallel port is a really nice way to add midi to this device !

For your records the Amstrad PC5086's specs are: 8086 (@8Mhz), 640KB base ram, Onboard VGA graphics, Amstrad Adlib Clone Card, XT-IDE (512MB CF), MS-DOS 5.0

Reply 13 of 19, by radiance32

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Zalog wrote on 2021-11-10, 08:39:
Well spurred on by the success of the V30, I worked late into the night to get the PC5086 back together and do some testing. I […]
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radiance32 wrote on 2021-11-09, 23:22:

Very interested to find out if it's the same result on a pure 8086 CPU 😀
Looking forward to it 😀

Well spurred on by the success of the V30, I worked late into the night to get the PC5086 back together and do some testing.
I can confirm it works on all of the previous games I tested (obviously manually modifying the resource.cfg file), and all seems ok with the S2P.
I also tested Kings Quest 1 (VGA remake) - as this a tough one for the PC5086 - and the game still runs (music below) so I think you've been successful with the driver - abet the issue with the install program needs fixing !

Kings Quest 1 (VGA Remake) S2P - KQ1VGA_S2P.mp3

Actually I think my S2P may have found its home on my Amstrad PC5086 - its a very small box and the only two ISA slots are taken (unlike the PC3086 which has 4 !) - so the unused parallel port is a really nice way to add midi to this device !

For your records the Amstrad PC5086's specs are: 8086 (@8Mhz), 640KB base ram, Onboard VGA graphics, Amstrad Adlib Clone Card, XT-IDE (512MB CF), MS-DOS 5.0

That's great 😀 It works on all old PC systems now 😀
We'll look into the remaining issue with the driver name and the install program,
and hopefully peter from serdaco can get that fixed and check in a final, %100 version of this driver...

Thanks again for helping to test the driver on a 8086 and NEC CPU,
it's highly appreciated 😀

I was actually suprised it works on the VGA remake too 😀
Sounds pretty good aswell 😀

Thanks!,
Radiance

Check out my HP Palmtop YouTube Channel! https://www.youtube.com/user/refractivesoftware

Reply 14 of 19, by Zalog

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radiance32 wrote on 2021-11-10, 08:48:
That's great :) It works on all old PC systems now :) We'll look into the remaining issue with the driver name and the install p […]
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That's great 😀 It works on all old PC systems now 😀
We'll look into the remaining issue with the driver name and the install program,
and hopefully peter from serdaco can get that fixed and check in a final, %100 version of this driver...

Thanks again for helping to test the driver on a 8086 and NEC CPU,
it's highly appreciated 😀

I was actually suprised it works on the VGA remake too 😀
Sounds pretty good aswell 😀

Thanks!,
Radiance

No problem - yes the VGA remake is one of the later SCI0 games - so its a good test as it really stresses the 8086.
It might be worth testing the last SCI0 game some time - Jones in the Fast Lane - as it uses the SCI1 256 graphics engine inside SCI0 so would stress things, but unfortunately I don't have a copy.

Still well done and thanks again for all the work on the driver !

Reply 15 of 19, by radiance32

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Zalog wrote on 2021-11-10, 09:51:
No problem - yes the VGA remake is one of the later SCI0 games - so its a good test as it really stresses the 8086. It might be […]
Show full quote
radiance32 wrote on 2021-11-10, 08:48:
That's great :) It works on all old PC systems now :) We'll look into the remaining issue with the driver name and the install p […]
Show full quote

That's great 😀 It works on all old PC systems now 😀
We'll look into the remaining issue with the driver name and the install program,
and hopefully peter from serdaco can get that fixed and check in a final, %100 version of this driver...

Thanks again for helping to test the driver on a 8086 and NEC CPU,
it's highly appreciated 😀

I was actually suprised it works on the VGA remake too 😀
Sounds pretty good aswell 😀

Thanks!,
Radiance

No problem - yes the VGA remake is one of the later SCI0 games - so its a good test as it really stresses the 8086.
It might be worth testing the last SCI0 game some time - Jones in the Fast Lane - as it uses the SCI1 256 graphics engine inside SCI0 so would stress things, but unfortunately I don't have a copy.

Still well done and thanks again for all the work on the driver !

I'm sure you should be able to find a copy, or a copy by just googling for it...
Then again, I'm focussed on HP200LX portables which have CGA so I can't test any of the sierra VGA only games...

Radiance

Check out my HP Palmtop YouTube Channel! https://www.youtube.com/user/refractivesoftware

Reply 16 of 19, by Zalog

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radiance32 wrote on 2021-11-10, 10:05:

I'm sure you should be able to find a copy, or a copy by just googling for it...
Then again, I'm focussed on HP200LX portables which have CGA so I can't test any of the sierra VGA only games...

Yes, had a look on a popular auction site this morning and I've located a copy - just have to wait for it to arrive in the post......
That's one nice thing about the Amstrad XT's, from the PC2086 till the last one (PC5086) they all had VGA adaptors built in - although don't expect them to be a speedy games machine !

Reply 17 of 19, by radiance32

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Zalog wrote on 2021-11-10, 10:36:
radiance32 wrote on 2021-11-10, 10:05:

I'm sure you should be able to find a copy, or a copy by just googling for it...
Then again, I'm focussed on HP200LX portables which have CGA so I can't test any of the sierra VGA only games...

Yes, had a look on a popular auction site this morning and I've located a copy - just have to wait for it to arrive in the post......
That's one nice thing about the Amstrad XT's, from the PC2086 till the last one (PC5086) they all had VGA adaptors built in - although don't expect them to be a speedy games machine !

Yeah, any machine with a 8086 or 186 CPU and a VGA card has to move a lot of pixel data around so they update their graphics slowly...

Radiance

Check out my HP Palmtop YouTube Channel! https://www.youtube.com/user/refractivesoftware

Reply 18 of 19, by LordMortiferus

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Thanks a lot for the driver!
I did a quick test with the S2P on a IBM 5160 with NEC V20 and IBM 5155 with 8088 CPU. Space Quest 3 and Codename:ICEMAN worked just fine. Though I wouldn't call it playable.
The 1988 X-Mas card had audio only on the first screen, however I am not sure if Ravi's original gm.drv is compatible with it to begin with.

Reply 19 of 19, by radiance32

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Zalog wrote on 2021-11-10, 10:36:
radiance32 wrote on 2021-11-10, 10:05:

I'm sure you should be able to find a copy, or a copy by just googling for it...
Then again, I'm focussed on HP200LX portables which have CGA so I can't test any of the sierra VGA only games...

Yes, had a look on a popular auction site this morning and I've located a copy - just have to wait for it to arrive in the post......
That's one nice thing about the Amstrad XT's, from the PC2086 till the last one (PC5086) they all had VGA adaptors built in - although don't expect them to be a speedy games machine !

BTW, check out my brand new youtube channel, it's only been up for about 2 weeks now,
it's called the "HP Palmtop Tube" channel and it's a channel focused on MS-DOS Palmtops from HP from the early 90's.
There's videos of the S2P, OPL3LPT and CVX4 (covox clone) playing games and MOD files on the HP 200LX palmtop,
and I published a long, detailed and narrated video of Ventura Publisher the day before yesterday...
Here's the channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCVChzZ62a-c4MdJWyRwdCQ

I could use more views, likes and subscribers, to get the channel off the ground 😀

Cheers,
Radiance

Check out my HP Palmtop YouTube Channel! https://www.youtube.com/user/refractivesoftware