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ZX Spectrum: Elite Collection (iPhone)

25 yıllık yazılım firması “Elite”, yeni iTunes uygulamalarını duyurdu:

Bugünden itibaren iPhone kullanıcıları, sadece 56 Pence’e (1$’dan az) zx spectrum emülasyonu yapabilecekler. Elite Kolleksionundaki oyunlar şöyle imiş:

– Turbo Esprit #3 on top 100 best games, voted for by visitors to World of Spectrum
– Saboteur #10 on top 100 best games
– Chuckie Egg the classic, developed by Nigel Alderton
– Harrier Attack inspired by the conflict in the South Atlantic
– Frank Bruno’s Boxing the UK #1 Best-Seller
– Buggy Boy the arcade original driving game

http://www.elite-systems.co.uk/elite/htdocs/user_home.php?show=26

Doğrusu, Chuckie Egg’i düşününce, touch screen kullanarak nasıl oynanacağını bilemiyorum. Kaldı ki, diğer oyunların aksine, bence o oyun sadece ve sadece orjinal 48K’nın kauçuk tuşlarıyla mükemmel oynanabilir.

cULA64 V5 is out.

in order to satisfy feature hungry spectrum users, I’ve updated the ConvertUla64 (cULA64) utiliy. This version includes latest patches from scrPlus0.12 and gui based batch conversion mode.


I tried to tidy up the UI, but it still looks ugly.

Warning, I updated sources during lunch break at work, so there may be plenty of bugs. Please feel free to report bugs here.

Download here: CULA64_v5.zip 40kb


Kullanıcılardan gelen istekler doğrultusunda CULA64’ün son sürümüne toplu iş yapabilme seçeneği ekendi. Artık bir klasördeki tüm dosyaları tek seferde dönüştürebileceksiniz. Ayrıca çevirici kodu 0.12’ye yamalandı.

Bu metni yazdığım sırada farkettiğim birşey, kasördeki dosya isimlerini sadece küçük harf olduklarında toplu işe verebiliyorsunuz. Bunu yakında düzeltirim. Programı iş yerinde yemek arasında güncellediğim için pek test etme fırsatım olmadı.

Buyrun çekin: CULA64_v5.zip 40kb

Creating 256 colour games with EmuZwin

it’s easy to convert regular zx spectrum games to 256 colour ones. EmuZwin is an another emulator supports virtual 256Colour mode. You can convert your fav game to a 256 colour game.

Here is how:
Start by downloading emuZwin. I found V2.5 is most stable version with 256 colours:
http://kolmck.net/apps/EmuZWin25.zip (700kb)

You can try other versions to test if they are working on your system:
http://kolmck.net/apps/EmuZWin_Eng.htm

-setup:
1.open a game, and pause.
2.select 256 color mode from “effects” menu
3.a window will open. do not touch any settings, click ok. monochrome data will be copied to the extended gfx memory. (this window is also kind of hard to understand behaviour, it will only shown once, so don’t make mistakes)
4.open gfx editor now.
5. Click yellow pacman face to turn it off. Only regular speccy data will be shown.

-Try to find the sprites on memory:
7. At the bottom left corner of the gfx editor, there is a textbox, you can type the width of the sprite (in characters) if the sprite you want to edit is 3 characters in width just type 3 there. Then you will scroll and find your sprites.
8. Use triangle shaped arrows to shift bytes left or right
9. Use red grid button to show grid, don’T forget to select “anchor grid to byte 0”.
10. You may see couple of same sprites around memory. One is screen, and generally games uses a buffer to create image, so dont be fooled by them. Try and find real sprite data.
10.When you find your sprites you are ready to draw new sprites over them. Click pacman again to show 256color pixels.

-editing
11.Start drawing
12.unpause the emulator to see the results and pause again before editing.

-saving
13. to be on the safe side save your gfx work seperately. Click “save” in GFX editor window. Make backups.
14. Save your game in emuzwin (ezx) format from emulator window, File > save as…
15. Close the emulator

-returning to work
15. when you decide to return to drawing again, fire up emuzwin and generally emulator will automatically start last workspace. if not, load your ezx file, open gfx editor and load your GFX file.

Have fun!

I’m using V2.5 because later versions are far more buggy, and won’t work/crash with 256col games ocassionaly.

about Samsung st550 blur problem

Last month, despite being a pricey model, I decided to buy Samsung’s ST550 because it has a front lcd panel and very good reviews on the net. But now, I’m a little disappointed from it’s results. While the camera is very fast and responsive, it suffers from blurry images. I could never be able to took a clear picture, even though I selected iso100, shorter exposure rate, superfine quality and recommended resolution. Images are always slightly blurry. I don’t really know what to expect from such small sized camera, but even my old canon ixus 70 produces better and clearer results. Samsung uses Schneider lens, so I think the problem is not lie in the lens refraction, instead ccd or cmos chip OR badly coded compression algorithym is responsible from blurry images. Even under bright daylight camera produces blurry pictures. Maybe it’s a focus problem, but you cant control focus, so maybe it needs some fine tunning in firmware. If you zoom in the image, you can see the pixels are blended together, like a smaller image made bigger by interpolating. And there is a faint halo effect, preventing yo to take a clear shot. Eg. if you take a picture of a black dot on white paper, there will be a faint gray area around the dot, like picture is off-focus but it’s not.

ST550’s menus, touchscreen panel, heptic vibration, clever motion and face detection, finger gestures, motion sensor and front lcd etc. are all good and functional. But what I really expect from a camera is taking good pictures.

Those are the most clear picture I got from this camera, which I took them in macro mode (macro generally produces nicer pictures in st550):


(note that,in those pictures, because of the heavy depth-of-field effect, focus limited to a very small area, at the tip of the die-cast model. I’m not talking about d-o-f blurrines, I’m talking about the blurrines of focused area)

the camera acts better in lowlight conditions. When every other camera sucks at night, ST550 excels. Note that, when taking night pictures, blur is often disregarded. The lowlight blur generally comes from longer exposure, but what you expect from a 1-second exposure or 1/45s exposure is much worse than ST550’s nice, relatively sharp output. Camera somehow stabilize the motion and try to eliminate blurring in lowlight by using motion sensors, optical stabilization and software processing.

This picture uses iso100 + 1second exposure, no flash and taken under a regular streetlight. And st550 has a quick timer function, the camera detects motion and wait for everyone to stop moving then it decides to take the picture. Nice and very useful feature.

Also there is no firmware update out yet, to fix some minor bugs in the on-screen user interface.

I guess it’s wise to get the model with smaller screen (ST500). Because st550’s screen so big you can’t help but touching the screen when you try to take a photo of yourself using front lcd, that brings up a menu and stops you from taking the picture. Mostly, you need to strive to exit acidental menus because of the big screen leaves no space for holding camera properly. Also smaller screen makes the camera live longer, as battery generally dies after a photo session. ST550 lasts about a day if you don’t use flash too much. Batterymeter shows half full in 5 shots, and red empty alert at 15 shoots with flash (but it will go on to take 20 more before it dies).

Smart mode is generally useless as it always chooses to turn off flash and macro mode if there is no faces around. So you need to learn the device, and use it on Program mode. I must add, “beauty shot” mode really creates amazing shots (but with a little blur). And children mode plays some animation (and you can download more at samsung.com) on front screen and creates funny photos even if you use the feature on grownups.

Samsung ST550 is a good video recorder, it works nice even if you record HD video at 1280x720x30fps.

If I get used to ST550 blur someday, I’ll be very happy. Because other than damned blur, the camera is very nice. But I should warn you, stay away from ST550.