trs80gp – another TRS-80 emulator

Downloaded and trying to learn this program. So these are first impressions. There are a lot of options so I’ll say upfront that things may not initially work because of my unfamiliarity with the program. At start it defaults to Model III.

One thing I wanted to change under view right off the bat was “Sharp Display”. I found “Authentic Display” too blurry. Then I wanted to do was cload a Star Trek cassette, and run it. So I…

Switched to model 1
Inserted the cassette
Typed BASIC (Because it starts in TRSDOS mode)
Typed cload

The asterisks didn’t flash and the program didn’t load.

I then tried the sdltrs emulator booting into Level 2 Basic
Inserted the same cassette
Typed cload and it loaded (asterisks flashed)…and ran!

I haven’t yet figured out how to get trs80gp to just boot into Level 2 Basic without TRSDOS.

I did try booting sdltrs into TRSDOS then switching into Basic and to my surprise it didn’t cload the program either.

I dug a little into the trs80gp website and saw he used a cassette program right from the command line. I tried that and it worked…and loaded extremely fast. Especially if you type “trs80gp sst.cas -turbo”. Something I noticed was the text was lower case.

Important

OK I later found some options that started trs80gp in a more traditional TRS-80 Model 1 mode…
trs80gp -m1 -dx -nlc (Model 1, boot into ROM BASIC [cassette only], No lower case)
When starting like this…cload worked!

As a TRS-80 Model 1 user with only a cassette player, this is more familiar to me. And I would guess the vast majority of early TRS-80 owners had systems like me. Also I think that most systems on display in Radio Shack stores were like this.

Actually the best/fastest way to start the Super Star Trek program from cassette is…
trs80gp sst.cas -m1 -dx -turbo -nlc (-turbo runs it fastest)

Final thoughts…for now!

A very nice and powerful TRS-80 emulator with the ROMs included! My biggest complaint was the program download is binary programs with no checksum provided. I did contact the author and he kindly provided a sha256 checksum that matched the download.

TRS-80 cassette and Firefox annoyance

Had been doing some research last night on reading physical TRS-80 cassettes and saving them to disk . Had some interesting bookmarks opened, then this morning as is too often the case Firefox opened to a single tab…losing all my open tab research. This is an infuriating thing that Firefox has been randomly doing for several months now. However I had added some of these pages to my bookmarks.

Anyway one thing I found was a recommendation (see EZCap Super USB Cassette Capture) for a cassette player that works with the TRS-80. It seems that none of my old cassette players work anymore. What I really want to retrieve is a Yahtzee game I wrote back then which was particularly good because I used the TRS-80s primitive graphics to “roll” the dice. Anywho luckily for me I had added this player to one of my Amazon lists.

Here is a screen save just in case it disappears before I get it.

So you attach this player to your computer. And use something like Audacity to save a cassette recording in .wav format. Then you use software to convert the .wav file to the TRS-80 .cas format. One software recommended was trs80-tool. Some usage info here.

Of course even if I buy it there’s no guarantee that I’ll be able to successfully read a 30+ year old tape.

Speaking of Yahtzee. It seems that I’ve read in the past that other people wrote Yahtzee games also. Which makes it sound like I choose Yahtzee because everyone was doing it because it was some beginners project. Which wasn’t true in my case. The Internet was many many years away, so I didn’t read about others doing it. It was a game I enjoyed and was interested in back then. I mean board/card/dice game in general were more popular back then because it was very uncommon for the average user to play them on a computer. True it didn’t require the logic of chess but still it was a decent challenge for a young computer student. I was in school studying computers and I don’t think I was writing anything there any more challenging. Certainly Assembler was a harder language than Basic to learn. My mom liked the game too.

Just my luck that I choose a random game to program and…everyone is doing the same. I feel if I had chosen Parcheesi then I’d be venting about that now.

TRS-80 IMPORT of Dancing Demon

Update these instructions. Why go over all this again? Because I realize I had partially documented some of this and had games scattered around making it tedious to find and run games I had ran in the past. So I placed them all in one subdirectory called 0-MyDisks. Sometimes prefix directories with a zero so it will sort at the top.

Dancing Demon

Added an explanation on the import command because apparently I thought I should know (years later) where the command IMPORT came from. It’s not a TRSDOS command which you might easily assume if not reading a explanation. Of course if you really thought about it you would realize it couldn’t be a TRSDOS command. Because TRSDOS had no concept of an external file when it was created.

I have no idea how I knew to do this. There are 3 dancing demon zip files. Apparently I used “Dancing_Demon_(1979)(Leo_Christopherson-80-NW_Publishing)[BAS].zip” because that’s the only place the file I imported is located. However there are no instruction in the zip. Also the imported files are binary but have a .bas extension which to me implies text source files.

TRS-80 Super Star Trek

Back with one of my favorite topics. I was contemplating creating a Star Trek YouTube video. Contrasting the PDP RSTS/E version with the TRS-80 version. I have a TRSDOS version that works however my computer back then was a cassette storage system. So I wanted one I could load from cassette. I recently found a cassette Star Trek image but it was too different from the one I was use to and it didn’t have a shields command. However I have the source from the “Basic Computer Games TRS-80 EDITION” by the same guy who wrote the “Digital Basic Computer Games”…David H. Ahl.

Anywho I had worked on copying & pasting Basic source code into the TRS-80 before. But wasn’t totally successful. Some lines would paste perfectly…others not! I had previously determined if I added an extra CRLF to the ends of the lines I was more but not completely successful. So I revisited that effort today because I really wanted a cassette image from the TRS-80 book. Long story short, every time I added an an extra CRLF to the ends of the lines I was more successful. Finally by adding 4 extra CRLFs to the ends of the lines I was successful. I did this programmatically using Python. I also updated my SDLTRS notes with this information.

My TRS-80 only had 16K memory. The emulated TRS-80 has about 48K. But this SST is around 13K so it would have ran on my TRS-80. As seen below.

MEMORY SIZE?
RADIO SHACK LEVEL II BASIC
READY
?MEM
48340
READY
CLOAD (SST…you don’t type this!)
READY
?MEM
34858
READY
_

So SST is 48340−34858=13482 bytes

Poor Kdenlive render quality

Somewhere along the way the render quality of Kdenlive has become very poor. I googled and saw some people with the same complaint and but didn’t really see a good solution. However I did see the screen below in a general options description but it wasn’t specifically talking about my problem. It shows more options (as seen on the right) when you click More options as seen below. Duh! However as you can see the Custom Quality was a very low 3%. Bumped up to 100% and once again render quality looked great, however the render size was much larger than the original. The render quality also looked great if I just unchecked Custom Quality, I assume that also means %100. The lowest quality I tried was 70% and I thought the quality still looked pretty good and the output size was slightly smaller than the original. I didn’t see a way to save these options. Every time I tried to render a new video it defaulted to a quality of 3%. This isn’t something I usually changed before.