Here, you'll find updates and such that I've posted on this site in a rather familiar blog format. No stupid wordpress bullshit around here.
Why have a self hosted blog instead of using existing social media services for posting updates you ask? Well, I personally find social crapdia to be rather annoying and the benefit of a self hosted blog is I can say whatever the hell I want without worry of angering rabid weirdos that prowl about in more mainstream places.
Things coming along as usual... Just, slower.
Posted April 10, 2021 3:44PM MST
Well, that camera setback I mentioned in my last post? Well that's been sorted out fortunately, just two weeks ago actually. Didn't have to dismantle the TRV820 too much to get to the mode select dial and dowse it with alcohol to clean the contacts inside it.The dial itself was a fused together piece of plastic that is not easy to take apart non-destructively, but there was a small opening big enough to feed alcohol into... A bit crude but it did the job. As for the video project itself I've been working mostly with the script and narration and filmed most of the clips I need, though I'll have to film a couple more clips and gameplay footage as the script I've written demands, as well as some hardware changes being done to the systems I'm covering mid-production. Should consider doing scripts and narration first before filming and capturing as its the most exhaustive part to do I found.
I can't help but notice how I don't really seem to feel as adept at making videos as I was just a few years ago, either my video projects were just simpler in nature at the time, which is most apparent in my last PSn00bSDK video which I was able to make in just a few weeks and just on time before the year's end, or maybe its the effect from getting older as doing certain things in video making gets quite tiring and I don't always feel like working on a video every day these days. I generally avoid working on such projects when I don't feel like it as the end result would most often be shit and I'd feel shit as well as a result. I guess this is to be expected as you get older and its a good thing I'm not being a stupid YouTube partner as I can take the time to get a video out.
Lately some marginal progress has been done to my Random Magical Girl project, namely the FartMaker music system which I need to get going first as its essentially the heart of the project much like the Touhou games I'm trying to do a western influenced rip-off of more or less. I've gotten note playback with chords to work last month and now I'm in the process of implementing the text interface for managing a whole song, such as multiple tracks and editing instrument patches. The photos below shows what these interfaces look like more or less.
Whilst I seem to be more of a MIDI guy with my CZ-5000 these days I still wanna dick around with 4op OPL3 FM synthesis and this FartMaker system should allow me to do just that, especially as Adlib Tracker II's 4op support is quite awkward to use and I can't really work with trackers anymore.
As for other DOS development related stuff goes I've given DJGPP a shot. And well I can see some potential with it, trouble is I find it to be a bit awkward to use compared to OpenWatcom. For one the gcc compiler wouldn't work under a Windows 95 Dosbox as it complains about no DPMI memory available, and another is there doesn't seem to be much in the way of remote debugging support other than doing it through a painfully slow serial connection. I could work with just having access to the GDB console through serial but that doesn't appear to be supported. I do like how CWSDPMI starts instantly even on a 386DX-40, whereas DOS/4GW would take a few seconds before the program actually starts on a system that slow.
But anyway, I guess that's all I have to say for now... And to be honest I wonder if anyone actually reads these posts...
Great, a massive setback...
Posted March 16, 2021 2:09PM MST
If you've watched enough of one of my recent Wind Waker streams, you might've noticed that the camcorder I was using (Sony DCR-TRV820) as a webcam in such streams tends to exhibit some erratic behavior due to the mode select switch getting iffy... Well, that has gone a bit out of hand whilst I was in the middle of filming things for a new video and I can no longer use it to film things reliably as the iffy mode selection causes the camera to stop recording. What's worse is that my VX1000 seems to have developed some dislodged optics that makes it impossible to focus on anything, which it seems to have developed gradually as it was exhibiting some signs of it when I did that CZ-5000 stream earlier this year, so I can't fall back to using that camera again either. I don't know if its an optical issue it has developed or the driving electronics for the CCDs have gone daft, and is somewhat misaligned electronically for the lack of a better word.
I will try to get around fixing the mode select dial on the TRV820 as it seems to be a very common failure point of HandyCams from its time period, but taking apart these camcorders are not going to be fun as they're often packed to the brim with flat flex hell, and it'll be game over if any of those ribbons get broken by accident. The only other option I can think of is to obtain a FHD capable camcorder earlier than planned, which is going to cost me quite a lot and it'll also take quite some time for the thing to get here. Don't know if I can ever fix the VX1000 myself unfortunately.
Site now plays ball with old browsers
Posted January 29, 2021 9:00AM MST
I've just finished implementing a bunch of long overdue changes that allows my website to be navigable on really old web browsers, namely the navigation bar falls back to a simpler and more compatible table arranged list of links on IE 5.5 and older, as well as simplifying the format of the news blog for even older browsers. This is contrary to those other 'retro' community sites that usually don't even load at all on said browsers... You definitely can't do this level of compatibility with Wordpress that's for sure. I've also fixed incorrect timestamps as my stupid news blog thing expects the default MySQL timezone to be Asia/Manila. Fortunately, because the dates set on the posts are UTC, all posts since the first one have correct dates once it's been adjusted to my timezone as it gets displayed.
Personally, I think a true old computing website must be fully usable on very old browsers, if you fail that then its ain't a true old computing website in my book. The only thing I've yet to fix is to implement on-the-fly image resizing and conversion for browsers that don't support newer image formats such as PNG, or run/appear like crap when made to display high resolution images. I'll get around to fixing this at some point, as well as updating my hardware collection and about pages... Part of me is tempted to make a simple message board system from scratch for this site that would actually be accessible to browsers as old as IE3 all the way up to your modern day smartazz phone, with a BBS style telnet interface for even older systems with modem emulators. This may or may not actually happen, depending on how much I want to constraint myself from building my own community, as I've been told not to.
First post for 2021
Posted January 15, 2021 1:49PM MST
Well, not much has changed as the stupid Made in China flu is still on-going. Been doing a bit of music stuff trying to get that 'Raspberry Unwise' theme I started work on in one of my livestreams done as of late. I plan to aim for getting the musical side of the magical girl project done early this year, namely the FartMaker music system which has been showing some promise after I fixed the wiered stack and memory corruption issues I had when trying to implement timer routines into it (hint: make sure you compile with SS != DS) as well as figured out the correct logic for running the tick counter regardless of the system timer rate for playing back musical sequences using MIDI terms for controlling the playback speed.
I've also looked further into what would be the best way to distribute PSn00bSDK in a pre-built, ready to use package and settled with using .deb packages for Debian based systems and pacman packages for Windows systems with Msys2 installed. The package would not only include PSn00bSDK and its libraries already pre-built and ready to use, but also include other useful tools to further complement the package such as TIMedit, img2tim, mcomms/liteload, n00bROM and mkpsxiso. Currently I'm still figuring out how to build a deb package and once I figure it out, I'd still need to test it for awhile to make sure it'll work on a fresh system. If things go according to plan I may be able to get a deb package out before the end of this month.
I'm also doing some gradual improvements of my website and I still intend to make it friendlier with older web browsers, namely adding a fallback so the drop-down navigation bar will be replaced with a more conventional navigation bar on browsers that can't render the drop-down bar properly. I've also made my PS1 tutorial series a lot easier to access, as you'll no longer have to log into its SVN repo to view it anymore.
Anyway, I suppose that's all I have to say for now.