Steel Survivor: an IBM XT Tale

Steel Survivor: an IBM XT Tale

No comments
This month actually marks the IBM 5160's 35th birthday, so why not show off my working (and pretty much complete) specimen.  This is one of the later models: half-height floppy drive + ST-225 hard drive, 640K motherboard (fully populated), last BIOS revision (05/86).  The latest date code on the chips is 8649, so this machine was made shortly before the XT was discontinued altogether.  I received this from Trixter, truly a gentleman and a scholar, along with a separate box of stuff to round it out: an IBM PC/XT keyboard, a joystick, some software/games (including a boxed IBM PC-DOS 3. ...
Yet another 16-color CGA makeover: Keen 5

Yet another 16-color CGA makeover: Keen 5

1 comment
After giving Keen 4's CGA version a 16-color composite overhaul, I figured I'd have a go at the next episode, since the code has nearly everything in common with Keen 4, and the composite enhancements detailed in my previous post could be applied without too many essential changes (other than different offsets/addresses, of course).  Let's strap this one to the rack then: As before, the distribution is a runtime in-memory patch (using CK5PATCH) and you'll need the original KEEN5 CGA files (v1. ...
Dopefish goes NTSC: Commander Keen 4 Composite CGA Patch Notes

Dopefish goes NTSC: Commander Keen 4 Composite CGA Patch Notes

4 comments
If you're just landing here at random and wondering about the title: this is a 16-color 'remaster' of the original CGA version of Commander Keen IV: Secret of the Oracle, with code patched and graphics redrawn and reworked to take optimal advantage of CGA's composite output capabilities. For more info (plus the download link), see the VOGONS thread - all sorts of cool stuff in there, like videos recorded from real hardware, and a DOSBox build patched with some useful additions for running this. ...
8088 MPH Final: Old vs. New CGA (and Other Gory Details)

8088 MPH Final: Old vs. New CGA (and Other Gory Details)

4 comments
At long last, the final version of 8088 MPH is out.  There's a very nice rundown of the fixes and changes in Scali's blog post; much of the visible (i.e., graphical) portion of those changes involved making the demo compatible with all IBM CGA cards. The party version targeted the earlier, pre-1983 revision of the IBM CGA card (or as we've come to call it, "old" CGA).  This was partly because we had better data for this model: reenigne owns such a card, and he had been working on some of these tweaks long before we decided to make a demo about it. ...
CGA in 1024 Colors - a New Mode: the Illustrated Guide

CGA in 1024 Colors - a New Mode: the Illustrated Guide

19 comments
By now you may have heard of the 8088 MPH demo, the winning entry in Revision 2015's Oldskool Demo compo this month. It's been my pleasure to combine efforts with the likes of Trixter, reenigne and Scali to make it happen - not only did I get the opportunity to work alongside a bunch of extremely talented wizards of code, we also achieved what we set out to do: break some world records on the venerable (and yet much-maligned! ...
Using Photoshop as a CGA Bitmap Paint Program

Using Photoshop as a CGA Bitmap Paint Program

5 comments
Adobe Photoshop has an "indexed color" editing mode for palettized images, but let's admit it, it sucks.  No layers, no anti-aliasing, no filters, no (easy) dithering, and so on so forth: clearly, it's no substitute for DeluxePaint II, Autodesk Animator, or even PC-Paint.  There are modern, free and open source packages which explicitly seek to fill this gap, but just for fun, can Photoshop's limitations be subverted? Recently, at least by my glacial standards of time, someone (thanks, Andrew! ...