April - News

Friday April 30, 1999

If you've ever tried using Chem86 in YAS, and noticed a bunch of weird lines appearing when it was selected, here is Aaron's explanation after I wondered why this still happened in pre-release version .91.

It looks as though Stephen Hicks (the author of Chem86) put in a different kind of table at the start of his program... I think years ago the guys were planning to make a shell that would circumvent the build-in asm support, and this was to include all kinds of nifty features that would be listed at the start of a program, like comments/icons are now. So Mr. Hicks made his program to take advantage of the new proposed standard, assuming the shell would be made eventually. The shell was never made though, I guess since people found ways to do cool things with the built-in asm support. Now the new features were to be identified with a "1" at the start of a program, so when Bill Nagel made ASE (this is mostly conjecture), he must have started to implement parts of the proposed standard, but since they weren't all there, he used a "0" to identify programs. So then all the other shells followed this lead... Then I came along and decided to update the features with icon support, and the natural choice was to use the next number up from 0, which is 1. Unknown to me, this conflicted with the non-existant A86 standard (as it was called). So to fix the icon with Chem86, the table would have to be updated again, which would screw over all the people who have put icons in their programs (unless both formats were supported, which would still leave the Chem86 problem). I think the best thing to do for now is to just leave it alone until the format *needs* to be updated again. Of course there's also that Emanon shell, which uses a different format, but again with the same identifier (a "1")... -Aaron Curtis

Through having the banners up for two months, I have accumulated enough to purchase a graph link cable and will do so when the check arrives. Thanks to everyone for clicking (and please continue to do so!) I intend to put up some information with regards to RTerm 0.4 and dialing up to BBS's and most likely my own computer.

I changed the Link color just for the mainpage. Gonna leave it up like that for awhile to see if its better.

Thursday April 29, 1999

Having been out sick for the past few days, I finally felt well enough to come back and update.

MSE v3.5 by Chicane was released adding two notable options: assembly/BASIC descriptions and a new format with 2 columns and 16 programs per page. By adding these options, memory free was removed.

ZAP-2000 v.71 also by Chicane has basically combined what was in ZAP-OS, Windows 2000, Aurora plus a few nifty features. This shell is being assisted a bit by Scott Glover, who intends to have ZAP-2000 replace Windows2000. (Which would help in the Shell comparison)! Click Here to view a 30kb animated screenshot. The two icons you see other than My Calc (aka Explorer) are the plugins.

YAS with 82 emulation is slated to be released very soon. Stay tuned for more details.

Monday April 26, 1999

Chicane and Scott Glover of ZAPO have decided to combine ZAP-OS and Windows 2000 together to form ZAP-2000. The first release of ZAP 2000 will include mouse support, Windows 98 graphics, desktop icon support for various programs, and more. 85 emulation, while not planned on being in the initial release, is slated to be released in a later revision.

Saturday April 24, 1999

Well, apparently Internations.net has not fixed their domain name situation, so posting on the message board does not work. I was under the impression that by the time the news was updated, the message board would be working.

I had trouble putting files using Virtual TI. I hit F10, selected the file, and after about 30 seconds, it would timeout with a Tranmission Error. Any suggestions?

Emanon v1.0 was added to Shell Comparison. The readme says it is version .8, but the actual shell says it's version 1.0. So I'll leave it at 1.0. The page and screenshots are becoming quite large, so be prepared to wait while downloading the page.

Friday April 23, 1999

A new shell called Emanon v.8 was released to ticalc dot org's archives. The interesting thing about this shell is that it allows BASIC programs to include descriptions, as well as feature "applets" aka "plugins" for Anaconda and ZAP-OS. It also allows for icons, however, they are 7x7 icons as opposed to 8x8 which are used in YAS. Also, the shell is quite small - about 2kb.

Wednesday April 21, 1999

The message board is back! Internations.net's mainstream host (UK based) went down for nearly a week, and recently came back online. As an apology, they gave us 10 extra megs for a total of 30 megs! They gave out an IP,, rather than a domain name which suggests they were out to get us all (members) backup and running.

If you are a YAS .8x (inc 82 emulation) beta tester with information to pass on to others, feel free to chalk it up on the board. :)

Rusty Wagner, author of the awesome TI-89 emulator has released Virtual TI v2.0 Alpha 3. This version currently allows 82, 83, 85, 86, 89 and 92 emulation! It also allows you to have multiple rom files under different file names, which allows me to switch from rom 1.2 up to rom 1.6 on the fly. Last but not least, it has the ability to snapshot in black and white, instead of blue/yellowgreen!

ZAP-OS v.5 Beta has been released to ticalc dot org's archives. Check out this very interesting shell, featuring plugins (an interesting one called system manager), as well as TiL, which allows you to take txt files from your computer, into string files and read them on your calculator. Also, it has an option to detect "bookmarks." TiL is included in the ZAP-OS zip file (65kb).

Tuesday April 20, 1999

Chicane took the courtesy to email me and enlighten me of some errors. MSE v3.0b has been out since March 9, 1999 when he released it on his site at http://zapo.calc.org but not ticalc.orgs' archives. Also, the explorer view in Win2000 originated in MSE, which Scott Glover used in Windows2000. Scott Glover and Aaron Curtis, former Clearsoft members have joined up with ZAPO (z80 Assembly Programmers Organization). Also, a shell called ZAP-OS by Chicane and other members of ZAPO includes some interesting features, check out their site for more information. Thanks to Chicane for pointing this out.

A friend passed on information about locking BASIC programs on the calc - it was floating on the 86Assembly mailing list. I have attempted to do the 3 line step command on the homescreen, but have been unsuccessful. But basically, when the variable (string) was created called "NULL", it displayed a black squareblock. You would start a new BASIC program, do RCL NULL at the top of the source and delete any "quotation" marks around it. I will try and get more details and information about this as I receive it.

Monday April 19, 1999

Mini Shell Enhanced v3.0 by Chicane was released to ticalc.orgs' archives today. The biggest improvement is the inclusion of folders, but through this option, the removal of program descriptions was necessary. After taking a close look at it, I noticed that it resembled Win2000's explorer very much. You can see more of the information and a screenshot in a side-by-side comparison of other 86 Assembly shells in the Shell Comparison.

Windows 2000 v.7 (not released yet) screenshot (30k animated) can be viewed here.

Added a few icons to the Program Icons section. Bear in mind, they are also usable as 8x8 sprites in games or programs. If you would like to submit any icons, send them in bmp, gif, or 1's and 0's drawn out to icons@more486.ticalc.org.

Sunday April 18, 1999

Sorry no updates in awhile. It was my springbreak, and I felt I needed a break from everything. Anyways, onto the good stuff.

Windows v.7 is due any moment now. Scott Glover left me with this message in regards to it:

Here is my newest version of windows 2000. I have updated a lot of stuff. I will soon add more, like mouse support, TI-82/85 emulation, and graphics more similar to Windows 98.

I will be adding a screenshot in the near future (tomorrow I hope) for Win2000 v.7. When I take screenshots using either of the emulators (Emu86 or TI86emu), the colors are blue and yellowish-green (ugly!). If anyone has any suggestions on how to replace colors in snapshots using PaintShopPro 5.01 or Adobe PhotoShop 5.02, don't hesistate to let me know. I've been doing it in the past by using a tool called the magic wand in PSP v5.02, but, even that takes a massive amount of time for one screenshot.

Aaron Curtis has sent out yet another YAS, version .89. The features include:

And notes from Aaron:

I couldn't find any more rom calls to add, so if none of you say [beta testers] anything, this will be the version the public sees.

Aaron says he hasn't made any tweakings to YAS that would affect 85 emulation much except for Z-Kart, and Z-Kart 9.0 was recently released so I'll double check on that with YAS .89.

I got an email from someone who wishes to remain anonymous that they are almost done with their own shell. From the features he's told me (not to let out), I can say this, it will be interesting, perhaps old, but definitely an improvement. Okay, that was quite vague, but the truth is, I can't say much. Look forward to... more program icons though. :)

Jeffery Malone has sent in some working 82 ASM programs for YAS. He has tested them in Rom 1.3, although, I have yet to try them under rom 1.2, 1.4 and 1.6. However, it seems that different TI-86 rom versions do not affect 82 emulation much.

Apparently my message board is down, and the site that provided it (www.internations.net) has either shutdown, been hacked, or run out of funds to provide such an awesome service. If you can supply a monitor-able message board, or know of a website that provides such services, please let me know.

Monday April 12, 1999

Windows2000 v.63 was released to ticalc dot org's file archives, so thus the shell comparison page has been updated.

Thursday April 8, 1999

Spent almost 5 hours working on 3 minute credits for a video project in history. 5 hours!! Anyway, it's the start of thursday, so I figured I'd put back necessary programs on my TI-86 and add an entry to My TI-86 Setup. Today's entry can be read here.

If you have any information about Donkey Kong (game specifics and/or graphics), please visit the message board and share your information.

Monday April 5, 1999

Aaron Curtis distributed another private beta release of YAS, version .88. Aaron has added 5 new romcalls to the TI82 emulation and an optional delay for games that ran too fast, i.e. Diamonds. I have tried Final Fantasy IV (OS-82) with the version .87 and it did not detect as an OS-82 game, nor work. Aaron later informed me that supporting OS-82 emulation would take a lot of work, and considering there are only a few OS-82 games, it would not really be worth the effort. ASH and CrASH programs have been the pair to emulate in YAS.

I have retested all of the 82 CrASH games slated in non-compatible for YAS; Avalanch proceeded to the working category while the others remained non-compatible.

There have also been some small changes to 85 emulation, supposedly only to affect Z-Kart 3D (85ZShell).

Sunday April 4, 1999

Got a free wwwboard at http://www.internations.net. They also provide ad-free 20 meg website hosting. Anyway, the site had a wwwboard so I registered. And I felt the ticalc.org comment board didn't work fluently with the rest of my website.

Click Here to visit the forum.

Just a reminder about YAS or Win2000 pre-release betas, I can not nor will not distribute these to anybody. My only suggestion would be to contact the authors yourself. Aaron Curtis, author of YAS can be reached at acurti1@umbc.edu. Scott Glover, author of Windows2000 can be reached at mglover@iol19.com.

Saturday April 3, 1999

This site has been hosted on ticalc.org for one month now.

Moved March news to the News Archives.

I have received pre-release beta's of YAS (which includes 82 emulation) and Windows2000 v.6. For YAS, there have been numerous bug fixes, program hiding, and 82 emulation, though not perfect, is certainly there and now a possibility. Win2000 now allows you to move files between folders (was not possible in .5), has the start bar at bottom, title pic, decreased size, and explorer does not display the windows 2000 program name.

From speculation, only 82 assembly games that include the source code emulate in YAS. As Aaron Curtis stated in his readme "Also Thanks To - Anyone who ever wrote a program on the TI-85 and released their source." Apparently, the same goes for 82 ASM games.

Updated the YAS 82 Compatible section, as well added it to the navigation bar.

Amazing! Dying Eyes (82CrASH) a 20+kb game, converted to 86ASM, and finally slapped onto my TI-86 w/ YAS, worked beautifully.

Added today's entry to "My TI-86 Setup."

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