Subliminal Extacy #03
01 апреля 2001

Compatibility: An open letter to the Russian scene

Compatibility: An open letter to the Russian scene
       Compatibility: An open letter to the Russian scene

                         By Gasman / RA

I'm writing this letter to  ask you to make some  simple changes
to the way you write demos, so they can be enjoyed by many  more
people around Europe, and the rest of the world.

As you may know, I  run the world's largest archive  of Spectrum
demos at . I  take a lot of care  to get
all the demos in  .tap format, with a  loader in BASIC, so  they
can  be  copied to  any  disc system  and  made to  run  just by
altering the  BASIC loader.  A few  people have  asked me  why I
don't use Hobeta or .trd format instead. It's because TR-DOS  is
not very  common outside  Russia, so  most people  would have to
convert the  demos to  their own  disc system  - and  that isn't
always possible, because the  loader is written in  machine code
specially for TR-DOS, and needs to be 'cracked'. Instead, a .tap
file can be copied  automatically to any disc  system, including
TR-DOS - try

Unfortunately, this means that some of the most important  demos
-  'Refresh',  'Anamnesis',  'Napalm'  -  are  missing  from the
archive, because nobody has managed to crack the loader. Why  do
they have these loaders? Why can't they use a simple unprotected
one instead?

The only reason I can think of is that it stops your discs being
filled with files like  'DEMO', 'demo1', 'demo2', 'demoЗ'...  To
this, I reply:  What's more important  - sharing your  work with
hundreds of sceners around  Europe, or having a  slightly better
-looking directory on your disc?

Every time I see  a demo with a  custom TR-DOS loader, it  feels
like an insult, saying "We don't need the scene outside  Russia.
The Russian scene is the only one that matters." The demo  scene
is all about exchanging releases  freely - we shouldn't need  to
crack them for our own systems. So, this is my first request:

Please give  your demos simple  BASIC loaders, NOT  customised  
TR-DOS only loaders.

My  second  request  is about  a  hardware  problem on  original
Spectrums that you might not know about. When the I register  is
set between  40 and  7F, the  computer crashes.  Please think of
this while you're coding, and arrange your code so that  there's
space to put it higher in  memory. I really don't think this  is
hard to do. When I looked at the Whim 16K intro from Paradox  2k
to try and fix this problem, I discovered that it could be fixed
just by changing ONE BYTE! It  would be impossible for me to  go
through all the demos and fix them, so this is what I'm asking: 

Please don't put interrupt  tables in the memory between  4000  
and 7FFF.

This is one response I've heard:

"Why can't you watch our demos on an emulator instead?"

Emulators suck. They're getting  better and better, but  they're
nothing like the real computer.  Also, quite a few people  don't
have PCs to run emulators on - one of the most popular magazines
from the  UK is  'Crashed', and  it's the  only one  [apart from
Subliminal Extacy ;-) ] to cover the demo scene in detail.  Dave
Fountain, the  editor, writes  and designs  it all  using only a
Spectrum. Obviously, he can only  review the demos if they  work
on an original Spectrum.

Coders: What would you think if I put this code in my demos...

               LD A, computer_type
               CP    pentagon
               JP NZ,demo

Stupid, isn't it? But it's just the same as what you're doing. I
could  just  tell you  to  run it  on  a emulator  instead  of a
Pentagon, but that  wouldn't change the  facts. You'd be  angry,
because THERE'S NO REASON FOR IT. There's no reason to make your
demos only for Pentagon and Scorpion, either.

So, to repeat, this is all I ask:

1. Do all of the loading within BASIC: for example,

2. Don't  put an  interrupt table  in memory  between 4000-7FFF.
   Using 8000-BFFF is best.

Without these  changes, we  can't watch  your demos  at all. The
changes  won't  make  everything  work  perfectly  (for example,
multicolour might not look exactly right) but these are the most
important ones.  Fixing multicolour  would be  a lot  harder (or
impossible, if a Pentagon is  all you have), and that's  why I'm
not asking you to do that. We  just want to be able to see  your
work, even if it doesn't look exactly right.

When you make your next demo, please think about us!

I'd be interested to hear  any comments or questions about  this
issue,  and  I'll  try  to  reply  to  them  all.  E-mail  me at . Thanks!
Gasman / Raww Arse - - the home of the Spectrum demo scene
  //   "Standing in my yard, where they tore down the garage
 /      to make room for the torn down garage" 

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Темы: Игры, Программное обеспечение, Пресса, Аппаратное обеспечение, Сеть, Демосцена, Люди, Программирование

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