Podd can ... drink

Since I have gotten Podd running again, I have been going through the actions, reminding myself how they looked. Currently, the one I like best is 'drink' ... this gives you an idea:

Podd can drink

Nice! I think that I used monochrome sprites, which I recoloured as they were put on screen. Although some stuff was just drawn directly to the screen. I think there was double-buffering too. It was all written in C on RISC OS. Ahh, those were the days...

Oh My Podd

As I have previously reported here, I have been trying to better archive my author's copy of Podd (a piece of educational software that I wrote way back). It would be nice to keep it on a more permanent type of storage.

My plan was to get my copy running in an emulator, but that wasn't easy since the floppy disk it came on was protected by the publisher. My theory was that I could write a Windows driver to install a virtual drive, then run an Archimedes emulator and tell it to get a disk image from my new virtual drive. This would give me the ability to implement some virtual flakyness to keep the protection routines happy.

Well that was the theory. I didn't know if it would really work. I knew I'd be getting somewhere if the Podd program prompted for registration details. If you just make a copy of the original floppy, the program just refuses to run. But I did indeed get it going, look at this:

Podd screenshot

Yay! It works! Well... at first, it failed because the emulator (Arculator) cached the disk image, making my virtual flaky sector code useless. Enter the Red Squirrel emulator, which does not cache the disk content. After some tinkering to get the precise collection of bytes to be flaky we were away.

It has been a nice little challenge. I'll post some more Podd screenshots when I get time.

Z80 C Compiler

z88dk logo

I like BBC Basic programming on the Z88, but I also wanted to write proper Z88 applications that appear in the main menu.  But I didn't really want to have to resort to Assembly Language.  This is where Z88dk comes in.  It is a C compiler that originally targetted the Z88 specifically.  So now I can write applications for the Z88 in C.  As a bonus Z88dk also works for many other Z80 based machines.

But rather than copy the resulting files straight to a real Z88; I've also found this rather good emulator:

Z88 emulator

...which seems a very easy way to test your code before sending to a physical machine. This emulator seems to work fine on Windows 7, even the 64 bit version.