February - News

As of 2/27/99

Accidently stumbled upon problems between two 86ASM programs: Persons v1.2 and CalcManager v1.2. When the CalcManager KEY is installed, you can not view the Person's database. The error will result with "Database is empty" and you can not exit as well. When you Press F5 to quit, F1 does not respond. If this happens to you, leave it on the Exit Confirmation screen, then pull out one battery and immediately put it back in. You should still have your programs.

Tested some more Usgard programs in YAS. M.C. Mik for Usgard has earned itself into the "Try at your own risk" category.

I'm considering to replace "My TI-86 setup" with a list of program incompatibilities, bugs, etc. But it'd be heavily depended on visitor submissions.

As of 2/25/99

Looks like site hosting on ticalc dot org is almost finalized. Bryan Rabeler just needs to send me the account info to get up and running.

Added a few more Usgard programs.

Also, my friend's dad is building us the radio transfer link (plans can be found here). SpaceWar, BomberBloke, ZTetris, Chess, Insane Game, PlainJump 2, or any other link-port game while sitting across 30-50 feet away would utterly rule. Chatting, would rule. Sending files might be slow, but definitely feasible. The possibilities are endless. :)

As of 2/23/99

My friend let me borrow his Calc-to-Calc link cable (the latest style) and program testing has resumed with Usgard games and YAS.

Balloon (as stated in the YAS readme) will not work when more than one level file is selected. If you accidently select more than one Balloon level file, you should be able to recover by pressing [ON].

If you're interested in having an excellent spreadsheet program (I would refer to it as the "KillerApp") that is capable of saving/opening Excel97 files (and vice versa) with the included inport/export Excel97 add-in, then I strongly suggest you check out CSpread v1.0. The latest version (v1.0a) which fixes a Font memory addressing error (affects TI-86's with rom 1.2 and 1.6) can be obtained by emailing David K. Hart or visiting the CSpread Official Page.

As of 2/21/99

It seems the root of all my problematic PC-to-TI parallel port cable has been restricted to the calc-to-calc data cable. I use a socket on my PC-to-TI cable. I somehow twisted the cables around the plug in odd ways, and suddenly the cable worked! But, it's a rather gruesome process to spin the plug around, bend the cable all over, just to figure out where the connection will work. I'm considering building a new parallel port cable with the two 1k ohm resistors (mine doesn't have them, just the two 1N4148 silicon switching diodes).

During the brief moments I had the link working, I managed to dump the rom of my friends' TI-86's, one 1.4, the other 1.6. I'll be able to get 1.3 soon, though I've never seen 1.5. I have able to run games through the TI-86 emulator with various roms, but I have not found the emulator to always be consistent with an actual calculator, so I won't use the emulator to test unless you use a different rom than I, which I am left with no choice.

I tested Usgard Avenger in the TI-86 emulator + rom 1.2, and the game was insanely fast. Somehow, I pressed a few keys and started out with 256 lives, by the time I finally died. My score was 57640. Click here to see it.

As of 2/19/99

Aaron Curtis informed me that the ZShell game, Labby v2.1, does work with YAS v.79. While testing the game, I mixed up what variable to load (no documentation included). The solution to running Labby is to go to the External Varibles menu, find Labby, and select it. Then, go back to the menu containing Labbylvl, and run it.

The percentage that a ZShell program will work in YAS is now 91.1%. 112 games out of 123 emulate to work.

Added 20 ZShell game screenshots.

As of 2/18/99

Finished testing all (unless some were released under my nose) 85ZShell games under YAS! The final percentage of ZShell compatible programs in YAS is (drumroll please) 90.2%! That's 12 games out of 123, and most of those games of the 12, you can get in 86ASM, or 85Usgard.

Added the instructions from Dan Eble's gamepak2.zip. They include Matricks, Memory and MindSweeper.

Fixed a link to ZPong v1.3 in ASE Compatible TI-85.

Currently the main part of 82 emulation in YAS is about 2/3 done, although this doesn't include going through every program and fixing every little thing that goes wrong (which will take a lot more time). -Aaron Curtis

As of 2/17/99

As of today, 100 ZShell programs have been verified to work in YAS, 8 have been suggested as non-compatible, yielding a 92.6% success rate for ZShell in YAS (so far). About 15 more ZShell programs to go.

Instructions have been added to various games by Dan Eble which the files individually (as opposed to eblepack.zip) do not include documentation.

I'm planning on adding small icons in the file listings to indicate when a game supports multiplayer (link or on same calc), sound, and other interesting features.

Progress in moving to ticalc dot org is being made. If you have any screenshots (bmp, gif or jpg), suggestions on how to attain screenshots (snap86 does not appear to work in YAS, since they both set a TSR on the [ON] button), or links where I can download screenshots, please e-mail me or if you just have information (no screenshots), you can use the form.

My biggest gripes about Geocities are: (and that's why I want to move to ticalc dot org)

As of 2/15/99

Two incompatible TI-85 ASM games in YAS! One an invalid file and the other does not run, though recoverable by pressing [ON].

More 85ZShell games tested in YAS. You may notice that the order I'm following is of ticalc dot org's file archives. I'm doing this since I made the error of not testing every program in ASE, just some programs I liked or wanted to test. I will get around to ASE again, after I finish up with YAS.

As of 2/14/99

Well, it seems that I have qualified for website hosting on ticalc dot org! I now have an even greater incentive to work on this site. :) And I've got a few interesting ideas lined up.

Tested and added a few more 85ZShell games to YAS Compatible TI-85.

Removed (added 2/7) from archives. I will remove those one week later, from now on.

As of 2/13/99

Only had time to test a few 85ZShell programs in YAS. More in the coming week with more 82ASM support info for the upcoming release of YAS.

As of 2/12/99

Got a request through the Request Test Form about 85Usgard XC-1701 2. This game, like many others uses more than one string file. Some games with multiple files have the engine, levels, editors, and graphics separately. Depending on the game, you need to select the appropriate file in the External Variables menu through YAS. If a game requires you to run the levels (instead of the engine), select the game engine file. If a game requires you to run the engine (like XC-1701 2 v1.0), select the level files first.

Several ZShell programs tested with YAS. Several listings in ASE Compatible TI-85 have been modified.

As of 2/11/99

Somehow I got my cable to work again. I used W32Tran8x v3.1, which had a feature to adjust delay time. I set mine to 10,000 (recommended for fast machines was 5,000) and ran linktest a ton of times, and oddly enough, my calc began receiving files again. I also dumped my rom image for future use in case this happened again, so I could use the TI-86 emulator to resume partial testing.

Wanting to seize the moment, I tested 25 ZShell ASM Programs under YAS. All successful. Though some with questionable emulation characteristics (too fast, too slow, unresponsive keys, etc).

A few small corrections/additions to ASE Compatible TI-85 listing.

As of 2/10/99

I still can't send files to my TI-86. I posted a message on bit.listserv.calc-ti with as many details to the problem. You can read the message post here. If you have any suggestions, please send them my way at ajkwan@softhome.net or fill out the form.

As of 2/9/99

Tested games one after another fine, until I tried Crunch (85ZShell) in YAS. My TI-86 crashed, and when I tried putting YAS back on, too many synchronization problems, and YAS wouldn't get back on after a dozen attempts. I use a home built PC Parallel port cable with CAL on a Celeron 300A overclocked to 450 in Win98; tried DOS, still doesn't work. I'm dilligently begging my friend to give up his 286 laptop, which being a slower machine, I believe would give me fewer send/receive problems that I've been experiencing on both my Celeron 300A, and my P2-450.

I'll wait til tomorrow, this inability to send and receive is just a random thing, I'm sure of it.

Several more programs added to YAS Compatible TI-85 page.

As of 2/8/99

Tested several ZShell (85) ASM games with YAS. Their comments, screenshots, and download location are listed.

Tried BomberBloke with two calculators, it was fun! But it locked up on numerous occasions. Hope that this is because of a bug that will be fixed.

Began keeping a log of My TI-86 setup.

As of 2/7/99

BomberBloke is awesome! It's Matt Shepcar's (SCaBBy) of Icarus Productions latest 86 ASM game release. Style is modeled off Bomberman: includes grayscale, four person multiplayer (two 86's required), and all those little 'pickups' that bomberman wouldn't be fun without.

Something odd I notice in YAS (and ASE too) is that before getting in an 85 game, I need to raise the contrast (by pressing +) considerably to see reasonably.

Daedalus 0.31 works in YAS like the readme said it would! But remember folks, this game ran kinda slow on a TI-85, so on an 86? Even slower. My window is one setting above the smallest. Maybe a turbo'd TI-86 could handle this easier. My friend's turbo'd TI-85 runs the second highest screen size reasonably smooth (seems to be about 15-20 fps).

Couldn't get M.C. Mik to work properly. I got a little button impatience crazy.

Added GeoGuide (that banner + guide bar at the top) to stop pop-up advertisements. Doesn't seem to work.

Began testing 85 ASM programs from ZShell and Usgard using YAS. What works, and what doesn't will be listed. My batteries are drained, gonna take a few hours to recharge.

As of date, 47 TI-85 ASM programs have been tested and approved (on top of ASE's readme listing) to work in ASE v1.3; more on the way.

As of 2/6/99

Full website overhaul, including but not limited to:

Ugh, straight coding for 4 hours, and it's midnight now. I'll stop.

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