Because some times, I just don't have anything better to do

Posts tagged “80s

RetroChallenge #3, part 2

While I was at work, I managed to find some time to go over the code of the first game in my list, titled “Aliens II”.
By looking at the game, I found a few things that seemed easy to improve/fix.
There is a lot of flickering, and using page flipping should fix that.
The maze is not well designed, with lots of dead ends that tend to block the alien’s movement, and can force you to take very long paths to get to a particular place.
The time available to complete each level is just not enough in most cases, and finally, the text messages is horribly placed on the screen.
In the code, I found that the DATA for the graphics is on top of the code, instead of in a routine at the end.
Then, I realized that implementing page flipping to minimize flicker is not going to be that easy.
The game keeps the maze in one of the pages, copies it to the second, and draws the “sprites” there. In the next cycle, instead of erasing the sprites, the clean background is copied again from one page to the other.
This means that, in order to use the page flipping technique to eliminate the flicker, I will have to add the commands to delete the sprites from the old positions. This will make the game slower…
Moving on, I found this:

910 IF PEEK(344)255 THEN IF X<31 THENIF PPOINT(X*8+10,Y*8+2)=5 THEN X=X+1:GOSUB 1040:
And the line 1040 is just….

OK, then, first task, speed up the game.
Rearrange the code to bring the main loop as close to the top as possible, declare all variables at the game start, giving priority to the most used ones, find some numbers that are used a lot and change them to variables.
Then, the game’s look.
I decided not to change the graphics. They are quite …. bad, let’s face it. But I guess is part of the game’s personality. The only real change will be to get rid of the white color and change it for green. Fits better with the game idea. And of course, the text must be aligned better, not just dropped anywhere in the screen!
And finally, game play.
The maze needs a redesign. Not a major one, but it should be easier to go from one place to the other, for both, the player and the aliens.
And like I said, the time available is not enough.

Here is a video of the original gameplay.

And the sound! What was I thinking? I believe that i just took a part of the music from some demos in the CoCo’s manual.
Should that stay or should that go?
Well, I guess we’ll see… tomorrow?

Colección de retrocomputación

Como se habrán dado cuenta, este blog es cada vez mas retro.

Hoy les voy a presentar una pequeña parte de mi colección de retrocomputacion, aprovechando que por primera vez puedo tener una buena parte de la misma en exhibición, en vez de guardadas en cajas y cajones.

Retrocomputacion 2

De izquierda a derecha, y de arriba a abajo:

TRS-80 Modelo 100HP 320LX.

Sega Communicator, TRS-80 PC-3 (recostada, apenas visible), TRS-80 PC-4, DIMM de 168 pines, SIMM de 72 pines, SIMM de 30 pines

CPUs:  Intel 486 SX (40 Mhz), Intel 486 DX2 (66 Mhz), Citrix 486 DX2 (80 Mhz), AMD 486 DX4 (100 Mhz), Intel Pentium (133 Mhz), AMD K6-2 (450 Mhz)

Camara digital EZ-Mega cam (1 Mp)

Laptop AcerNote 730i 486SX / 4MB (Monocromatico)

Tarjetas de memoria: CF de 64 MB, SD de 32 MB, Micro SD

Retrocomputacion 1

En esta foto hay algunos “invitados”. Limitándome al tema de hoy, tenemos:

CD de Windows Millenium, Palm M100, Palm Centro, Palm Tungsten T, Palm III, Palm VII, caja con memorias varias.

Tarjetas PCMCIA para laptops: Wi-Fi Trendnet, Red D-Link, Memoria flash 8 MB.

Tarjetas de PC: “Super I/O” (Puertos serial, paralelo, controladora de discos IDE y diskette), Tarjeta de red 3-COM

Laptop IBM Thinkpad (Celeron 400 Mhz)

CD de Lotus SmartSuite 96

Furious Felines, part 3

Most of what could be called the “game engine” is ready.
To do:

  • Animate the cat that jumps from the top of the pile.
  • Create new graphics for the cat while it is waiting to be launched, and while it is flying.
  • Make up my mind about how score is going to be awarded.
  • Create the levels.
  • Make it pretty! 🙂 That is, ad some backgrounds, messages, and so on.
A cat in the middle of the jump

A cat in the middle of the jump

The great 80’s TV shows, “Automan”

En los 80's las computadoras empezaron a estar en todos lados. Por mas o menos 100 dolares, se podía comprar una pronta para conectarse al TV de la casa y cargar juegos desde un cassette de audio.
La gente creía que en poco tiempo, las computadoras podrían hacer todo, y esto creo un nuevo genero de programas de televisión.
Auto + computadora = KITT, El auto fantastico (Knight Rider)
Helicóptero + computadora = Lobo del Aire (Airwolf)
Moto + computadora = El Condor (Street Hawk)
Pero un programa llego donde ninguno
había llegado antes:

"El primer hombre totalmente automatico"

Era un holograma, creado en su tiempo libre por un experto en computadoras del departamento de policía.
Para ser el hombre perfecto, se había basado en Burt Reynolds, Lee Majors, John Travolta, Jim Connors y muchos otros.
Siendo un holograma, podía atravesar paredes, flotar y cualquier cosa con que lo atacaran pasaba a traves de el. Por supuesto que podía sostener cosas y golpear a los malos.
Pero hacer un holograma tan complejo como el utilizaba mucha energía. Por eso, solo podía aparecer de noche, cuando el uso de electricidad en la ciudad era bajo.

No podemos olvidarnos de su compañero, "Cursor". Una especie de bolita de luz que lo seguia a todas partes, y que podia, entre otras cosas, "dibujarle" un auto, avión, moto o lo que precisara en ese momento.


La serial duro nada mas que 13 capítulos, de 1983 y 1984. El actor principal, Chuck Wagner, solo apareció después en algunos episodios sueltos de otras series, un éxito similar al de los demás compañeros de reparto.

Automan en la wikipedia (Ingles)

Automan en la IMBD (Ingles)
Un par de blogs en español: y

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The great 80’s, music, TV and women (Susanna Hoffs)

The 80’s  

I would guess that it’s because I spent my teenage years in the 80’s that I like them so much.
The TV shows, the music, the women…

That’s why I’m starting a series of posts to prove that the 80’s were the best! 

And to score 2 in one post, I’ll start with the lead singer of one of my favorite bands, The Bangles.

Susanna Hoffs

With one look, and that little smile she has, she is hotter than Brittney and all those girls that are around now, and she can play the guitar too! 🙂
I still have to find a copy of “The allnighter”. I guess I’ll just go to my favorite P2P

She looks gorgeous today, but without the 80’s wild hair, it’s not the same

Here is a video where you can see how “sexy” and “hot” have nothing to do with getting half naked and rubbing against someone else