29/02/2000 - 17:42

You can get version 0.72b.

I just fixed the quick load option that I added in the last version. It was not running at all to say the least ... again, sorry about this.

What's new:

- Fixed a bug which could help the "quick load" option from correctly working on some precise configurations (if you had selected in windows explorer the option to view files extensions, because I was using a system dependent file function, which was implicitly using this option)

26/02/2000 - 13:42

Version 0.72 released!

In summary, all the previously addressed issues have been (completely or at worst partially) fixed.
I mean slow speed in windowed mode, wrong palette and unfinished z80 cpu core (some bugs remain to be discovered). The next weeks will be spent rewriting the whole thing, so that the code is clean, in preparation for a source release ! Plus, there are other enhancements, read below ... This release will be the last one for a long time.

- Z80 cpu core has been enhanced (better stability, compatibility, added undocumented opcodes, flags 5 and 3 partial emulation (80% complete)). Some more games are running now (GreenBeret, Marble Madness, Imask2, Spindizzy ...) bringing the compatibility to a high level, in fact over 95%. Out of 230 games I have tested, only 9-10 had problems, mainly graphics bugs, but none of them refused to work

- Palette routine has been rewritten for the nth time... this should be the last version and it should work on 99% graphics cards now). As a counterpart, it's not possible to switch colors (dark, light...) anymore but I think it's more important to have a perfect colors palette. Also, the colors are a bit more realistic (technically, I'm using an hardware independent pixel plotting function) (thanks to Fabian Schmied and John Leather)

- Fixed a bug that caused the emulator to crash if an error message was displayed

- Fixed a bug that caused the emulator to crash if the spectrum rom file could not be found

- The cursor blinks a bit faster ;) almost like the real thing

- The 6 last loaded games are saved and can be quickly selected in the file menu (not deeply tested, may lead to unexpected errors ...). You can even (unofficially :)) quick load games in fullscreen mode by pressing alt-f.

- Preliminary support for 24 bits desktop mode (sluggish and tested on one card only, try to avoid it!)

- The DirectDraw primary surface was created in video memory. Now, it's created in system memory and windowed mode speed is now on par with fullscreen speed :) (tested on a Matrox Mystic 170 graphics card, which was previously lagging in windowed mode, now it's perfect, at least on my test machine) (thanks to Fabian Schmied)

- New logo :)

In addition, I released the enhanced z80 cpu core (V0.2).

19/02/2000 - 12:45

I'm progressing quite nicely. I think I will release a new version one of these days, even
if there are some areas which are not 100 % completed. Trying to have a 99% correct z80 cpu
core gave me some headaches the last weeks so I'll switch to another emulation part that needs to be enhanced (possibly sound).

Z80 core work status:

- Opcodes overwriting ROM (100 % completed)
- Missing undocumented opcodes (100 % completed)
- R register bug (90 % completed)
- Ocodes which aren't correctly working (like DAA ...) (0 % completed)
- Flags 3 and 5 emulation (75 % completed)

14/02/2000 - 20:50

Z80 core work status:

- Opcodes overwriting ROM (100 % completed)
- Missing undocumented opcodes (100 % completed)
- R register bug (90 % completed)
- Ocodes which aren't correctly working (like DAA ...) (0 % completed)
- Flags 3 and 5 emulation (0 % completed)


12/02/2000 - 14:45
 

R register bug has been fixed. Greenberet is perfectly working now, and Commando is just exhibiting some minors bugs, but much less than before.

Z80 core work status:

- Opcodes overwriting ROM (100 % completed)
- Missing undocumented opcodes (20 % completed)
- R register bug (90 % completed)
- Ocodes which aren't correctly working (like DAA ...) (0 % completed)
- Flags 3 and 5 emulation (0 % completed)


09/02/2000 - 23:50
 

I'm just enhancing the z80 cpu core. What I will change in the next days/weeks:

- Better stability (no crash when pressing the reset key because of opcodes overwriting ROM!)
(90 % completed)
- I will add missing undocumented opcodes (0 % completed)
- I will fix opcodes which aren't correctly working (like DAA ...) (0 % completed)
- I will try to emulate flags 3 and 5 (0 % completed)


04/02/2000 - 23:11

 
Version 0.71 released!

In summary, I added fullscreen support and fixed the purple/blue palette problem on some graphics cards in 16 bits colors mode.

- Fullscreen mode, at last :) It is *considerably* faster than windowed mode. For example, on my office PC, the windowed mode lags between 20 et 25 fps where fullscreen mode is running at a top notch 86 fps. You can consider the emulator is running at least at twice the windowed speed. Press ALT-ENTER to switch between fullscreen / windowed mode. Be warned tough that it should be considered a beta implementation.

- 2 joysticks emulation. I don't have two joysticks so I haven't been able to test this feature but it should work. Choose Kempston for player 1 and either Sinclair1, Sinclair2 or Cursor for player 2. The new "2 joysticks emulation" checkbox in the joysticks options windows just tell the emulator if Sinclair1, Sinclair2 and Kempston joysticks emulations should be usable only with the second joystick. Be warned that it has not been tested at all and will certainly exhibit weird behavior at some moment. For example, I don't event test that two different joysticks are selected. I added this functionnality as a gift :)

- I rewrote my palette routine. All I can say is that it perfectly works now ! Peoples who had "mauvish colors" problems should be pleased with it. I haven't been to find a computer here at my office which have problem with it (some tested graphics cards: Nvidia TNT1, TNT2 M64, Matrox Mystique 170, Intel i740, S3 Virge DX). Arghhh this damn RGB 555 colors mode ! The next version should include a new hardware independant pixel plotting function.

- Added a new option ("Blit attributes"). This option can help some games to go faster. For example, in Silkworm, I went from 80 to 95 fps simply by switching this option on. Hopefully, the fullscreen option is there if you have speed problems.

- Switched from MSVC++4 to MSVC++6. Perhaps the generated code is now compatible with k6-2 processors (I know my emulator wasn't running on these "compatible" chips). Just tell me if it's working now, I'm curious to know about it.

- Fixed keyboard input problems, which happened from time to time when the emulator was launched.

- Fixed the "continuously playing sound" problem when entering some menu options. Now the sound is off when loading a snapshot, diplaying the joystick options or keyboard layout...

- Better border emulation ! Now the border lines are almost completely synchronized with the emulation (Vectron is my test game, and the border is always slighty out of sync, but it's *much* better than previous border emulations).

- Fixed several opcodes cycles, mainly the undocumented ones.

- Fixed some bugs in my z80 core and in the debugger (the side effect of switching
to a newer compiler enabled me to find these bugs). I don't even know how the old version was running because after having recompiled my emu with the new compiler version, it wasn't working at all !

- Added a status bar (windowed mode), with the current fps, screen and cpu speeds. Better than the previous OSD.

- Added support for .TAP files. To make it work, start from BASIC, load the game and type LOAD "" (altough, there's always a bug that causes a crash when pressing the F4/RESET key :( , due to some opcodes overwriting the rom).

- Other minor bugs fixed

- HTMLized the doc (readme.htm)