Archive for October, 2007

OpenZXRom 2007-10-15 (Maths and minigames)

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

[Screenshot: Play Ball! by Evilpaul] This is Play Ball! by EvilPaul, a 4K game from the 2003 Minigame competition. It has the distinction of being the first ever real-world Spectrum program to successfully load and run on OpenZXRom from a tape file. That’s due in no small part to the fact that the Basic portion consists of a single RANDOMIZE USR call followed by a REM, but still, that’s a worthy milestone for the project after a 16 month hiatus, wouldn’t you say?

We haven’t cut any corners in pursuit of that goal either – some crucial pieces of plumbing have been added in this release. The first dabblings into floating point arithmetic are in place, including the foundations for the stack-based mini-language that will be the heart of all our mathematical backflips later on. On the Basic language front we’ve added PEEK, POKE, IN, OUT, USR and PLOT to our repertoire. The big news, though, is that it can now handle simple string expressions, which means that LOAD “foo” CODE is just around the corner – and then that’s the final piece of the Classic Spectrum Basic Loader implemented, which should get a good few hundred games up and running.

There’s been a bit of prettying up too, both inside and outside – the code has been reshuffled into multiple files (because rom.asm eventually grew big enough to be annoying), and the system font has received some much needed care and attention courtesy of Paul van der Laan and his Clairsys font.

Download OpenZXRom 2007-10-15

Bleeding-edge seat-of-the-pants types can follow the OpenZXRom subversion repository for the latest updates.

Blurry screen resolution (one pixel out) on OS X?

Sunday, October 14th, 2007

Because I just had a minor panic thinking that the screen on my MacBook was completely screwed, and I think the solution needs a bit of Googlejuice:

The symptom: Your screen shows patches or bands of alternate in-focus and out-of-focus pixels, as if it was set to a resolution one or two pixels out from the correct one. Moving your mouse pointer up and down the screen causes the screen to shift up or down by one pixel (and the blurriness to move to another region). Restarting doesn’t fix it, although the problem only reappears part way through logging in, and it doesn’t affect any other users on the system.

The solution: Press Alt+Apple+8.

The explanation: You accidentally turned on OS X’s ‘zoom’ accessibility feature. It seems that if you’ve never used this before, or you have your preferences set up in just the wrong way, the default zoom level is “just a couple of pixels in from full screen” – enough to make things go nasty and anti-aliased without it being obvious that it’s zooming in on anything.

…and no, this is not your cue to crack jokes about things that give you blurry eyesight and their possible correlation to being a mac owner.