Excellence in Art........ The Music
C-Rem.................... Defence Force logo revamp
Elitar................... The pixel-art trucks
gwEm..................... maxYMiser replayer
Dbug..................... Everything else
This demo should work on any STE or MegaSTE with 2 megabytes of memory or more.
This demo exploits most of the features specific to the Enhanced machines:
- DMA music and microwire/lmc control
- Hardware scrolling/screen splitting
- Extended palette
- Optimized right border switches
The demo was tested on both STE and MegaSTE machines.
(If you have a MSTE, the machine will automatically be set to 8mhz and
with cache disabled, so you can enjoy the fullscreen codepath.)
This intro was started in April 2009 and was intended to be part of the 20years
megademo project. Unfortunately is appeared quite fast that it would be hard to
meet the executable size requirements (160 kb max on disk).
At this point I decided I was better go my own way and do something cool, even
if it happens to be huge.
Why was did it take so long to make this relatively small demo?
If you put aside real life things (work, family, ...), the reasons are:
- Had to write the tools while I was doing the demo
- I decided to do all the graphics, code, design, texts, myself, because I hate
people, I hate design by committee, and I hate having to change stuff all the
time: I'm a horrible person, I know :)
- I had to change the theme and storyline of the demo at least twice, and had
to ditch some effects entirely...
What I wanted was to do a demo that would not look like a normal ST demo, with
repetitive effects and disjointed transitions. So I was thinking of doing something
like a movie on a DVD, with a fake menu selection, anti-piracy adds, sequences
with subtitles and some voice over.
Originally, the theme was related to the time travel and the lost position of
the Atari brand. Some guy from now, going to a conference by Stephen Hawkins
with quantum physics and whatnots, leading to the realisation that time travel
was possible, and that it was possible to change the fate of Atari by sending
back in time a eeePC with the history of world (until 2009, how the pc won, the
fall and rise of Apple), plus some documentation about modern hardware, blue
prints of the iPod/iPhone, source code of operating system and tools, list of
patents to register before IBM, Microsoft, Apple, and which companies to buy
to get old of most important ones, oh, and the game consoles as well.
So in the end using a cluster of Atari STE's our hero manage to send this stuff
in the past to M. Tramiel who use it to transform Atari as the number one
company in the world.
Back to the future where the eeePC is branded Atari, as the mobile phone and
the mp3 player.
That was kind of nice, I even had a speech synthesizer working, and a nice time
whirling worm hole... oh... like the effect of Another Kid Story. Had to scrap
that and do something else... twice :)
So here we are, now everything is here, in average about one third of the cpu
time is just spent waiting in the fullscreen, and most of the top border cpu
time is not in use either. So yeah, this demo uses about 2/3rd of the cpu time,
too bad the cpu is not sleeping during the remaining third, this would have been
good for the power consumption :)
Hope you will like this demo, and that people are not going to be too
disappointed, after all I doubt this should have taken 8 months :-/
And mega-thanks to XiA for the optimism and the energy, because I was sick and
tired, wanted to be done - fast. Thanks man :)
One last thing, the title, it of course (ok, possibly not obvious) refers to the
fact that we can still use these old machines 20 years after they were made, a
testament about the build quality of reliability. Modern PC's on the other hand
have parts breaking all the time, dying batteries, graphic cards got thrown out
and replaced, not very good from an ecological point of view to see all this
perfectly usable hardware just thrown in the junk hopping that some third world
country will have children desolder components in a mist of toxic fumes.
As usual now, you can find the source code of this demo in the archive, it is
probably not the best code of the universe, it assembles only with Devpac due
to the heavy usage of macros and specific assembler commands, but most of the
code should be not too hard to follow.
It's not as clean as I wished, mostly because I had to hack a lot in the few
last weeks to get the whole thing to work. Typically some effects are played
in the VBL callback while some others are just in the main loop, mostly because
I had issue with the music player that happened to take more cpu time than I
was accounting for originally. In turn this made the blitter code to be pushed
back later in the vbl, leading to the top border synchro to be missed in some
cases due to bus contention...
This version of the source code comes with the data precompiled and packed.
If you want the complete set of files, with the source pictures, conversion
scripts and tools, please go on the SVN repository: