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We've been bringing you hacks since 1986 under a number of different guises. Here's one that crosses our multiple generations. Originally cracked in 1987 by Hot-Knife, then packed for Automation in 1990 by Cyrano Jones. Finally fixed in 2022 by Showaddywaddy for hard-drives and all TOS (including Falcon). Here's Microleague Baseball.
MLB MSA version
MLB ZIP version.
Hello ship mates.
A news item? Hell yeah... all because of the Nova demo party!
You see, yesterday I had a look at the new ST demo Mind The Bend The Mind, it features a rather nifty 4 plane bit bender which gives a nod to the Andy The Arfling demo screen in the Total Apathy demo.
Total Apathy? well.......
Way back in June 2019 we released the demo Total Apathy. This originally had a planned release date of 1991! Anyway, Total Apathy was indeed an appropriate title as the demo was never finished. Fast Forward to 2019 and we finally gave the demo the release it deserved at the Outline party in NL - sprucing it up with an intro an wobbly menu.
A week before release Cyrano Jones/The Law sent me SIX MORE Apathy screens which had been intended to be used in the demo. However, by then it was too late to significantly change the menu code. We therefore decided to allow the screens to be accessed by secret means!
Fast forward once again to August 2022, and NO ONE has ever discovered how to access the screens (unless you were told by GGN!).
Well now I will put you out of your misery, I must admit I implemented quite a devious way to access the screens.
Anyone remember the legendary Virtual Escape demo by Equinox? How did you access its hidden screen? Well by pressing the ESCAPE key on boot up of course!
Now try this with Total Apathy - a message appears saying stick it in. Stick what in??? D-Bug menu 1A obviously......where it all began. Then, when asked, re-insert the Total Apathy disk.
Now you can access 6 additional screens by pressing F7-F10 and 1-3!!
Phew, finally these screens see the light of day - 30 years later!
Hope you enjoy these lost treasures.....
|Happy new year!|
Hope you're all good and ready for a new year. Let's hope this will be the year we contain this dreadful pandemic and only a bad memory of it will remain...
Anyway, on to happier news. I was delighted to see a release today by DHS (Synth Sweeps and MPC Beats), which motivated me to package up and release the MP2 patch I made for Evil (which is a continuation of Ray/tSCc's MP2 patch).
Long story short, Evil requested some help on IRC with NoCrew's MP2 player (using Ray's D2D patch) because he had issues with file sizes larger than 16Mb. The #1 unwritten rule of #atariscne is: always help Evil when he asks for help. So I started reading the player sources, then the DSP code, got confused, suggested a few things, and when they didn't work I took an even deeper dive into the code. Finally the next day I had a fix for him (which came to me right before I went to sleep, thanks brain!). He tested the fix and it worked for him. Hooray!
So without further ado, here's the fix, which also contains some tips on producing MP2 files.
Happy coding, and again happy new year!
|What a year 2021 has been.|
The dreaded Covid-19 pandemic in its 2nd year, lockdowns, demoparties canceled, Atari release numbers on the decline, so on and so forth.
Clearly we had to step up and do something to cheer people up this festive season! And so we did, with the help of our good friend The innovator/Newline.
Recently tIn had another stab at compiling the Hatari emulator to run on a browser (using the popular emscripten compiler toolchain). After an undisclosed amount of swearing and battling with cryptic options, he succeeded! Then he created a web interface around it and added the whole Demozoo Atari release library, et voilà: The AtariAviary was born. Truly a marvel of our times!
GGN was one of the people who beta tested the Aviary before public release and provided some UI feedback to tIn. So once it was released he asked tIn if he could share his work so we could tailor it to the D-Bug/Automation database. Luckily it wasn't a huge amount of work to make the Aviary work with our disks, and now we are very happy to give it to you all good people!
A few notes before we let you loose with it:
- For now Firefox based browsers run it really slow. Please prefer Chromium based browsers. This might get fixed in the future. We also have reports that Safari's performance is also ok.
- You can type on the "Filter" box to real-time search the database
- Click any of the titles shown on the search results to automatically download the disk image, insert it to Hatari and reboot
- If you click on the floppy disk icon next to the game title, the corresponding disk image will be downloaded and inserted into Hatari without reset. This way you can handle disk swaps
- The buttons below the Hatari do pretty much what you'd expect: Change RAM size, change TOS version to 1.62 from 1.02, Enable hard disk (currently disabled), reset the emulator and choose a random menu (very handy if you're stuck on what to boot next!)
- We do not yet force STE mode for the titles that require STE. So you will have to do that yourself!
- In the event you get a "D-Bug - error!" message on red background, then something bad has happened. There are a couple of disks we still don't have but they exist on our database. In any case, you can get in touch with us so we can take a look!
- Joystick emulation is enabled by default. Use arrow keys + right control.
- If for some reason you want to change something in the configuration, press F12 while focused on the Hatari screen and you should get the emulator's menu so you can tweak settings.
- We will continue to improve the experience with more features and fixes, bear with us
That should be all for now. We now leave you to have fun with our little offering!
Click the following link to visit the D-Bug Aviary: Link!
Merry Christmas and a happy new year from D-Bug!
Around 2018 our Czech friends got in touch with us as an issue of a Czech-only Atari diskmag Narsil was protected. Of course we gave them a hand, so issue 50 was finally released to the public!
All was fine until about last month where more issues previously assumed lost surfaced. Again our assistance was requested, and again we gave a hand!
So even if you don't speak Czech do check out the magazine, it seems well crafted and the text displayer is interesting, mixing text and graphics. Our contribution was for issues #2-#10 and #50.
That is all for now, take care everyone and see you soon - hopefully!
Another quick re-release of an Automation menu. This one relates to the game To Be On Top by Rainbow Arts. There are very few cracks of this game, just ours (by Neil) and Jabba of Superior spring to mind. Anyway the game is damn hard and unforgiving. So whilst ripping the music out (to SNDH) I decided to train the game so you are able to view the end sequence. Apart from that I have updated the menu code slightly adding a sid-i-fied Star Paws tune and bouncy scroller. So download Automation 306v3.
|We hope you had a lovely Easter!|
Revision 2021 online among other nice releases brought us a nice surprise: Hemoroids' Square v2 demo, which was shown back in STNICCC 2015 is finally out. Rejoice!
Unfortunately, it did not work on our MegaSTEs even though it was marked as an STE release (In our experience the two machines are really very compatible). Upon further investigation, it seemed that it didn't work on TOS 2.xx in general. So GGN decided to take a peek at the problem.
After bypassing the protection (nice try guys ;)), which was assumed to be the trouble, the demo still refused to run even with the TOS checks removed. Also it seemed allergic of hard disk drivers as well. Fast forward a lot of experimentation and he had a working version... mostly. The ending tune by Furax would freeze the machine. At this stage Showaddywaddy entered the arena, with his vast knowledge of fixing tunes for all the Atari 16/32 platform. He made a quick fix for the tune. It didn't work, so GGN followed his lead and fixed the remaining issues. The demo then ran start to end on TOS 2.06 from hard disk (with 4Mb of RAM) and floppy (with 2Mb of RAM).
All this happened in the day the demo was uploaded to Pouet and Demozoo. We contemplated releasing it as-is, but where's the fun in that? We needed an intro!
A quick poll around a few of our friends wasn't very hopeful, so we would probably have to switch to intro coding yet again. But at the last minute, Excellence in Art sent us a mostly working intro. Some modifications later we had everything up to everyone's satisfaction.
Without further ado, grab the release here or comment about XiA's intro on Pouet. Read the instructions in the supplied text file just in case, and most of all: have fun!
|Happy New Year everyone.|
Just a real quick release. A number of people mentioned wanting a patch to the classic Bitmap Brother's game - Xenon. Nothing too taxing, just to remove the annoying joystick wiggle feature which often resulted in an untimely death mid battle.
This is now removed, however it can still be selected using the space bar - to toggle from ground vehicle to space ship.
Original crack by Hot-Knife, patch by GGN, un-wiggled by SHW. Exclusive intro music by Modmate.
|I saw a little post recently on AF regarding the application Sound Lab (a nifty sample editor). |
The app has a pop up share message which appears every now and again. A user asked if this could be removed. Mmmmh we are in 2020 so I do not see a problem in implementing this. The author was contacted however unfortunately he's now lost all his source code.
So, I dug into the high level soup and voila - Sound Lab 1.1....D-Bugged.
Update - here's Sound Lab 1.11 as well.
Remember, if you like this program please still consider paying the shareware fee!
|Do you actually think you could escape that easily?|
We're back at Nordlicht 2020 to present you Kako milo, a mashup between the STE port of Bad apple by Fenarinarsa and the excellent parody lyrics by Gasman.
No need to thank us. You're welcome.
|Autumn is here. We continue. We always continue. |
We have finally updated Trans D-Bug Express to version 1.05.
This version has quite a number of significant changes, briefly - works on any memory configuration, improved speed (fastest MSA reader on the ST), Drive B support, compatible with ST, STe, Mega STe, TT and Falcon, uses low level FDC code (no BIOS routines!), allows BPB to be skipped. More info in the readme contained in the zip file.
|What a year 2020 is shaping up to be... We hope everyone is healthy and safe and that there will soon be a cure for this bad situation we're all in called COVID-19.|
To lighten up the mood slightly, here's what we've been up to lately, in chronological order:
New domain name
For various reasons we now have a second domain name running in parallel to our old one. We welcome the new kid on the block, https://d-bug.me! Please note that if you have issues with accessing the site in either of the two domains, don't hesitate to get in touch with us stating the problem and we'll patch it up sharpish.
rmac and rln website
Prehaps you've heard of these before, perhaps not. The fact is that GGN has been helping Shamus of Underground software (Virtual Jaguar fame) maintain and extend an assembler and linker aiming to support all Atari platforms, from the 800 to the ST, Lynx and Jaguar.
rmac and rln are direct descendants of the official Atari ST dev tools: Madmac (by Landon Dyer) and aln (By Alan Pratt). The tools currently support most of the CPUs found on Atari platforms including 68000, 68030, the Jaguar custom CPUs, the 6502 etc.
Alas, the tools never had a home page of their own, but instead they relied on forum posts and obscure repositories if people wanted to check them out. Well, no more! a brand new site was created for the pair which includes history, download links, comprehensive manual and a fun (we hope!) theme. So, without further ado, you are very welcome to visit http://rmac.is-slick.com to get informed, and perhaps, who knows, even try the tools out!
(Just as a footnote: rmac is now listed on Wikipedia too, yay!)
Remember this one? The thing where Showaddywaddy once every few years writes a random post about things? Well, it's been updated! This time featuring two sizzling items: the glorious conclusion of "From Hull and back" and the first in a series of music ripping tutorials. Go have a read, it's well worth your time!
Since most of the parties this year are moved to the online format (it beats having no parties at all), all our releases have been remote. To kick off things, Showaddywaddy wore his PHF hat yet again to participate in the highly competitive 256 byte compo! With an ST release of course, and a game to boot!
PHF Rally came third in a highly competitive mixed platform compo, which is either a great achievement or proof that people are always name voting. In any case, a place in the podium for SHW!
What? What's all this nonsense about Atari entries at a Commodore party????
We'll spare you with our thought process (because there mostly wasn't one), but it sounded a good idea to GGN, tIn and XiA to start a demo from scratch for that part roughly 3 to 4 days before the compo deadline.
Visuals accompanying music is probably one of the most literal translations of a demo release. GGN and tIn heard a preview version of the tune XiA had composed and thought it would be a pity to not have some fun things showing while the music is playing. Initially destined to be released at Sommarhack, it is not an invite for that party! We just liked the logo, that's all. Honest!
Despite the harsh deadline we had plenty of fun rigging this up. It ranked 3rd (again!) in the Other Platform Demo competition, not bad... considering there were only 3 entries! We'd like to take this opportunity to thank Hedning of Genesis Project and Troed of Sync for the patience and support during the party. (meaning: a super extended deadline)
Finally for now, GGN and tIn made their (virtual) presence at Sommarhack by doing a ST port of a well known Atari 800 product:
Yes, Mona made its way to the Atari ST computers. This little gem by Ilmenit was ported to various platforms (see click on the link to the original and read the Pouet thread for more info), but the ST was left out in the cold. GGN and tIn thought they should rectify the situation, and they did!
The port keeps the 256 bytes limitation (something that only one ZX spectrum port has managed so far), even though the 68000 has on average double the size for an instruction than the 6502! This means that we managed to squeeze the same functionality with less instructions! ...or did we? A quick look shows that the Atari 800 version uses 52 instructions and the ST version 49. How did we do it then? Well, you'll have to wait for the eventual write up. Be patient!
For some reason this ranked first in the 256 byte compo tied with SFMX's entry. Thanks everyone for voting for us. And an even greater thanks to Ilmenit for the original which is nothing short of a masterpiece, if only for the concept itself.
And that was 2020 so far from us. As for actual D-Bug activities... yes, they're still coming, hang in there.
And most of all, stay safe!
See you around...
|Back again, we never stop.... just slow down... Whilst at the elite Tathack we did another re-release, this time GGN and SHW bring you Automation 449 v2 , this fixed a bug which prevented the attract screen working. Neil's menu has new music and colours. That's it|
|As everything, it all started innocently enough.|
I'm thinking of organising some kind of Atari get-together at my gaff next year."
When Tat of Avena invites you over for a few days, how can one refuse? Damo, GGN, Gwem and Showaddywaddy certainly didn't! The premise of the whole gathering was to just relax and have some Atari time together, possibly work on something fun. A few of the participants were reluctant at first as they claimed they cannot code (such modesty!). They were however calmed down by the host saying that nobody would be forced to code anything. So after a date was agreed upon (21 to 23 February 2020) people booked time and arranged their transportation to the "hack".
First to arrive at the place was GGN, one day before everyone else, due to flight schedules. Things stated looking bad (or good depending on how one looks at the situation) when after a lovely dinner GGN started working on his entry for Outline, while Tat was deep in unpacker territory.
A few days prior to the party he had finished a rough-but-working depacker of the LZSA1 packer. Little by little the LZSA2 depacker started working and by early next day everything was ready: both versions of the LZSA depack algorithm are now available on GitHub. So that's already one release before most of the people had arrived - oh no! Also, GGN's tests showed that LZSA packs better and depacks faster than LZ4, so it's even a useful tool!
Late in the evening the rest of the crew started arriving: Grazey, then Gwem, and last but definitely not least, Damo. Here you can see everyone inside a local pub the next day.
With us were 1 STE, 2 STFMs (including Showaddywaddy's infamous orange sprayed one) and one Falcon, what more could one ask?
Once everyone settled in and had a good night's rest, things took off: The water boiler was working at 100% capacity in order to keep up with the tea demand, snacks were being passed around and generally the mood was great. People were even productive, which is unheard of! Meanwhile, word has got out that a party called "tathack" is happening and that it was populated exclusively by 1337 people (although none present at the place saw any), so around Saturday noon we were asked something really scary:
"whens the deadline, remote entries?"
Oops, busted! Sure, Gwem was set to release a new version of MaxYMiser (which of course he did), but that's pretty much it. Remote entries meant there was supposed to be a compo of sorts, so it was starting to feel a bit like work! Not to worry though, we set the deadline at midnight GMT and hoped that people would not carry on their threats of submitting something. GGN started working on a potential release but it was soon apparent that at least one more day was required to get everything to run properly, so with heavy heart that idea was abandoned. Grazey was still working on his Outline release and preparing something that will be released soon(!), Damo was working on his tracker, Tat was working on his release (for another party).
So, apart from MaxYMiser, there was nothing for the compos. And then the blasted Spice boys carried out their threats and submitted not one but two entries! Oh well!
To ease the tension of waiting for the compo deadline (snacks, food and tea also helped plenty) Showaddywaddy suggested a gaming compo. After a couple of false starts in trying to find of a suitable game, we settled upon Gemini Wing.
The poor rabbit soon lost its smile as it witnessed the general level of the contestants. The less said about this compo the better. People in the know probably have a rough idea of who won the compo (or just took a look at our fancy results file)
So, compo time! Luckily GGN had brought with him a pre-production devkit made by Ultra of Cream, ultraDev which made sending the entries to the compo machine a breeze. Big thanks to Ultra for this splendid piece of hardware!
House rules dictated that there would be only one voter, who was certainly the most qualified and knowledgeable in Atari demoscene culture in the house: Newton the cat. After both entries were shown (and the crowd indeed have a lovely time watching them - many thanks to the Spice boys for sending entries on such a short notice!) Newton considered the matter very carefully, judged both entries on their merits, and promptly disqualified both. Everyone present was gutted but rules are rules. Oh well...
Get the releases over at Pouet and have a good laugh - we certainly did!
After all that excitement people were exhausted. So it was mutually agreed to get some rest for the final day. Said final day turned out pretty uneventful: after a long and lovely breakfast people slowly started packing up, saying their goodbyes and going on their merry ways.
There are of course a lot of things left out in this mini report: all the small talk, tracker ideas, collaboration, info exchange, etc etc. However, these are the things that cannot be conveyed with words; one simply has to be there and soak up the atmosphere. It could have been bigger, more organised, better advertised. Or it could even have been smaller. In the end everyone that was invited had a lovely quiet time (after all we're all old, right?!?) and we're sure that everyone present would agree that this was the perfect way to open the Atari 2020 demoparty season.
We are very grateful that Tat invited both D-Bug members to hang around with the rest of the people. His hospitality was top notch, the tea service was excellent, and everything else was just lovely. Nothing more to add here, so catch you all later! Outline is just around the corner, and Sommarhack isn't that far either!
|Oh gosh, it's nearly the end of 2019 and no updates here? Let's rectify this immediately.|
It's time again for yet another time capsule post, so let's have a round up on what those lazy people at D-Bug were up to since the last time.
No new releases this year :(
Oh boy we came close. Spirits were high, the releases are very close to ready and tested (and at least one of them super rare!), the menu was being coded, but...... Unfortunately we ran out of time and steam. Our release was supposed to be submitted to a demo party (we won't say which, that would be telling) but the intro was over ambitious and would require graphics and a lot of work. Coupling that with the looming deadiline and the fact that we went to that demo party to see people and have fun, we made the hard decision to hold back until everything would be proper ready.
The sad fact is that we didn't continue working on the release after the party as focuses and interests shift occasionally. But rest assured, we will have something out soon! (fingers crossed!)
With that out of the way, let's cover the guys' other activities.
What year would be complete without our favorite Dutch party? Both Showaddywaddy and GGN had to be there for 4 days of carelesness, fun, and a bit of hacking as usual! (and of course lending a hand to the compo team as Shw's Mega STE had the honour of running the few Atari releases!) The usual Atari people of the past years were there: SPKR/SMFX, TiNKer/Lineout, Havoc/Lineout, CiH/Maggie, Felice/Maggie, tIn/Newline (it was a pleasure to meet a legendary person from the 90s, we hit it off imediately), Tronic/Effect, LFEE, Beetle/Cyanoacrylate Dreams, Gaz. And of course people from other platforms like Fra/Resistance, Gasman/Hooy-Program, TheBat/Guideline, Numtek/Guideline, and so on and so forth.
This year was a bit special as the party bids farewell to the Willemsoord location. So we made an effort to show something worthwhile for the compos!
First of all, a new demo!...well that's not true at all, but it was new to most of the people - just not to us!
Total apathy was the name of what was destined to be the Bad Brew Crew's mega demo. Sadly the demo was never finished (and yes the irony is not lost to anyone - the demo's name was prophetic and probably the main reason for no release!). But a lot of the screens were floating about in old backups of backups. Some of them were used as D-Bug menus, some were leaked into compilations. However they were never released into a single pack with a menu and all. Shw wanted to release this for a long time now and this year he finally made the effort to put everything together.
Since the whole project started in the early 90s Shw thought it would be appropriate to put everything on a boot floppy with custom loading code etc, none of that fancy hard disk the kids do these days! A small intro was put together by Shw and GGN, things were tested thoroughly (as usual) and that was it.
(Of course one week before the party Cyrano Jones sent us a few extra screens he found that we didn't have so we had to re-master the demo disk - d'oh! But no matter, it was all done in time)
(Hidden screens? What's that?)
But that's not all! Since the start of the year GGN was hacking away at a utility that statically converts Z80 code to MC68000. The reason for that was for him to port over a game from the ZX Spectrum (boo!) called Maziacs (thanks to SPKR for mentioning this game). The rationale behind the tool was to have the gameplay code behave 100% identical to the original version, not trying to guess what the game did and replace the graphics and input routines with native 68000 code. Thanks to the brilliant as usual SH3 we have a title screen that matches the conversion's chosen name (Bugziacs, feel free to download and try it out btw!) and new graphics that were drawn during the party by TiNKer we released a much more polished product that was originally envisioned.
We won't bore you with the details here, GGN has written a quite long article explaining the whole process and a bit of development history, you're welcome to go and read that!
Yes, we were there! How could we miss that event when it was being orgainsed in Showaddywaddy's home town (Hull)? That's right, we couldn't! Not even one month has passed since Shw and GGN met and now they were off to see the first symphonic concert of tunes from the 80s. We teamed up with gwEm/PHF, Tat/Avena (another mythical Atarian from the 90s we had the pleasure of meeting this year, we're on a roll!), and of course Tronic and Gaz were there. Was it good? Well, you'd have to be there for yourself, we won't share opinions here.
There's not a lot to say here as this wasn't a demo party but everyone had a relaxing time talking about looming deadlines and stress from demo coding ;). All the same it was a nice weekend in rainy UK.
(also, as Tat put it: "The unforgettable Serena Williams")
Without losing steam, GGN joined the merry Swedes at yet another edition of their lovely Atari party. Again many lovely people gathered together in such a small place: Evil/DHS, XiA/SMFX/The twist team, Acca, SPKR/SMFX, Modmate/SMFX, 505/SMFX, Wiztom/Aggression, Deez/Evolution, Baggio/Evolution, gwEm/PHF, Damo/Reservoir Gods (and what a pleasure it was meeting him again after so many years!), Britelite/Dekadence, Ricky Martin/Decadence, Daniel/New beat (AKA Dan Dan the beer man!), Freeco/New beat, Instream/Nature, Hencox/Nature, PeP/SoS, Nerve/Ephidrena (again, lovely to see again after a long time), Frequent/Ephidrena (like we said, meeting legends this year!), Emphii/Extream, No/Escape (beyond words, so happy to meet up again), Mikro/Satantronic, Sedma (yeah yeah giants etc)...
So what we had in store for the party? Well, Ambermoon Music Demo - something that Shw and GGN worked in many many many many years. Every time we would pick this up, reach to the point of 99% being done, and then something would happen and we'd put it aside. This year we just had to release it as the tunes (which Showaddywaddy got from Big Alec many years ago) were finally leaked out. Our hand forced, we decided to make a final push and get it out the door. By no means a big feat (especially compared to the top notch releases we witnessed that night at the party), but at least better than no release!
It was one of those parties that one wishes could never end, or last for 2-3 days more so as to catch up with everyone and have fun. All good things must come to an end though so people parted ways, big hugs all round and that special feeling one has after meeting people like family.
So it turns out that Sommarhack wasn't the end of our Atari activities for the year. We didn't plan for that though. We were happy to be idle and enjoy life for a while. But, well, accidents do happen...
SMFX were conjuring up a demo to celebrate their 3rd year of Atari activities. As pretty much everyone knows now, it is basically a reimagining of Razor1991's 2011 demo . Accidentally (ho ho) SPKR asked GGN to lend a helping hand, and he reluctantly accepted, not knowing how he could be useful. After re-acquainting himself with the demo (8 years is a long period!) GGN asked where could he be helpful and spkr pointed him to the part of the demo that featured a 3D landscape.
Again by accident (no joke!) GGN remembered the fractal landscape of Ooh crikey wot a scorcher which gave birth to Killing spree which GGN helped bring into presentable shape for Outline 2014! The source was out there, so why not make use of it? So sure enough the code was stripped down and beaten into working with SMFX's demo system with not much fuss (which speaks volumes for Manikin's code if anything!). Finally the glenz vector end part was reimagined and GGN generated the bouncy sprite paths for that. That's it, the rest is SMFX's work and don't let them tell you otherwise!
"We accidentally released" was released at the party and you can see the result for yourselves by clicking the link!
So that's pretty much it for this decade. People mostly knew all the above without reading this page. So what's next for D-Bug?
Like we said, we do intend to get back into making menus. This year didn't go as planned and we're sorry, but there's no use crying over spilled milk. We plan to rectify this!
And a small plea at this point: As much fun as it is doing everything in-house, it can sometimes become overwhelming. Putting a menu together requires some resources like menu code, graphics, music, testing. So if you feel like contributing anything, we'd be more than happy to accept!
Also, Showaddywaddy has been secretly donning his Grazey hat and ripping out tunes from pretty much everywhere for the SNDH archive. A new release has been well overdue, that's also coming soon!
Next year it'll be D-Bug's 30th birthday, so we plan to celebrate it with a bang (or two)! We hope you'll join us in the celebrations!
With love for the scene,
GGN and Showaddywaddy
Just because we haven't been updating this website doesn't mean we weren't busy! So, what happened since the last news item?
Arkos Tracker 2 replay routine for the ST
As you can read from the tracker's website, \"Arkos Tracker 2 is the evolution of STarKos (an Amstrad CPC Tracker) and Arkos Tracker 1 (A Windows-only Tracker)\". Its author (Targhan) publically asked if anyone would take up on the task of making a ST version of the player since the Amstrad CPC and the ST share pretty much the same sound chip (AY-3-8912 vs YM2149F). GGN was intrigued at the possibilities this opened, primarily since this would enable people to compose tunes on PC (or Mac) and play directly on ST. So he overcame his fears (and disgust!) for the Z80 CPU and started on a port of the player code to good old MC68000. The details of this are probably good enough for an article of their own so I'll save it for now.
After a few days of staring at instruction manuals, register descriptions and trying code in simulators he had a working prototype that could play tunes that took a whopping 6 scanlines of CPU! Hooray! After a few optimisation passes, the CPU usage dropped down to about 3.5 scanlines (worst case). Which is great, but what to do with it?
That's when XiA came into the picture*. The tracker did seem nice to use for him and pretty soon he started composing chiptunes again, something he hasn't done in a few years! Around this time the Outline demoparty was looming and we had nothing to show. On a whim GGN started mashing around some visualisations for one of XiA's tunes, thinking it would be enough for a small entry. This was 3 days before the party started! Around that point XiA started throwing assets and code at GGN that he and his lovely wife Acca had prepared in the past. They all looked lovely, so how could those not be used? Lots of effort, bug fixing and contributions by TiNKer at the party and we had something that resembled a demo on our hands! We called it \"LovelYM\", it ranked 3rd place out of 5, and you can view/download it on Pouet as usual. As a final remark, the initial design document for the demo was to show a raster bar to indicate how much CPU time the replay routine took, so we think we exceeded those expectations by far!
As for Outline itself - we had a blast once again. GGN, Showaddywaddy, TiNKer, SPKR, Havoc, D-Force, TheMatch, Beetle, Tronic, CiH, Felice, Lisu, JAC!, they were all present to keep the Atari flag up in the party and the compos :). And of course not forgetting people from other platforms like the Guideline folks (Numtek, TheBat), Alpha C who took care of the compos, and too many other people to mention here.
As expected, it wouldn't be a proper party without D-Bug coding! So Showaddywaddy wore his Grazey hat and ripped a few musics for the good of humanity, while GGN succeeded in adding SID voice support for Arkos Tracker! The results are publically on Github, so you are all invited to check it out and use it in your projects!
Finally, GGN and Showaddywaddy and his friend Gaz spent a few hours walking around in rainy Amsterdam after the party - good times!
After an exhausting party like Outline, surely we wouldn't attempt to do anything other any time soon, right? You would guess wrong!
To keep it short, we did yet another demo with XiA! And documented the process here. GGN and Shw were again present at the party (wooo, two parties in the same year - madness!) and, as expected, good times ensued! Shw was almost thrown in the river because of World Cup shenanigans (namely, England beating Sweden during the party), GGN beat everyone at the gaming compo yet again (yawn!), and the GGN/XiA/Acca demo scoring first place at the Twist compo. No idea how this happened but as usual you can see the result for yourself on Pouet. Enjoy!
Okay, so surely that was it for us for 2018? Two parties, two demos? Ehhh, nope!
Nordlicht demoparty was holding a 512 byte executable compo. And GGN walked into Arvenius (AKA wysiwtf) of Titan during Outline, who is one of the organisers of Nordlicht. An entry was promised, so something had to be done about it!
pLOLsma was written as a part in The Twist demo, but was left out for various reasons. The core code was written by GGN during the flight to Sweden in about 1 hour, and was beaten into submission 2 hours past the deadline for Nordlicht remote entries. No regrets, it is what it is, the promise was not broken :).
Time jump to yesterday, when we finally mustered enough courage to release a sister site/blog/soapbox/whatever into the wild. Beyond Brown had been stewing over a slow fire for a few years now. It was meant to be for our entertainment, jotting down things or writing a few words that were not fitting to other online mediums (forums etc). But over time word got out and people asked about something more public. So here we are. We still think it needs a lot more content (one major reason for not releasing it earlier) but at least people have an easier way to access whatever content is there.
The observant among you must be screaming right now. \"Fine, but what does all this has to do with D-Bug??????\". So nice of you to ask! GGN and Shw have been talking lately and thought that we might as well start producing a few CDs again! First up will be a demo compilation, and then who knows...
Stay tuned for the future - it's coming soon-ish!
* Well, it was a bit earlier than that, but the narrative sounds better this way!
|Whooah, we're on a roll. 28 years later we re-release Automation 250 , this fixed a bug in Necron's Ultra-Load depack routines. The menu code has also had a slight update, 3 changes to be exact if you can spot them!|
|And now for something new!|
Created by members and close collaborators of D-Bug, today marks the first release by Bello Games, entitled bexa64n!
To put it simply it's a game rendered inside a puny 64x64 window and plays not unlike a famous indie hexagonal game :). The reasons for this release are:
1. To give a teaser preview of a bigger release in the works called Bexagon
2. To give Atarians a new game they can play right now
3. To be the first game that has a dual release (Jaguar/Falcon030) using a single source base! The whole game was written in our very own dialect of Basic called Bello Basic which (with only a few exceptions) can generate the two very different binaries from the same source base which perform identical!
And that's pretty much it. Visit the above links, download and enjoy this first release. And stay tuned for more!
|Let's cast our minds back to 2009 for a bit...|
D-Bug was really active back then, releasing a lot of games for newer Ataris and adding hard disk loading capability. During that frenzy we decided we should put an end to our Compacted Disk series, releasing our last menu as a full CD-ROM which contained new stuff plus all the older menus and patches. (Shortly afterwards we would put most activities to the backburner and pursue other fun stuff to do). During the period we were gathering things to put in CD #200 we received an email out of the blue. It was from our friend n0kturnal and contained a Pasti image of a really rare game on the ST - Robbo! Reports say it's so rare that it only ever sold 80 copies in all! What a boon for us - we could include something really special!
I drew the short straw and got to work taking it apart and making it hard drive and Falcon friendly. Everything seemed fine, we tested a lot of levels and it all seemed fine. So it was greenlit and included into the final CD.
Fast forward to last Sunday when I got a friendly email from another pole, bartek030 informing me that my version of Robbo actually had a showstopping issue that would freeze the game past level 44 (if I remember correctly!). Oops! And not only that, but he also sent me a link to atarionline.pl where there is a page devoted to it, including an interview with the creators thanking the people who cracked it but a pity it wasn't working fully. Double oops!
So back into Robbo I went again, fixing all issues and exposing the in-game trainer so this time I can verify that the game goes all the way to the end sequence (which is very nice, you should check it out :)).
Enough talking, now grab the new updated version and have fun! And who knows, maybe in 10 years I might backport all the literally hundreds of Atari 800 version levels to this version! (if anyone wants to help, get in touch!)
|Hey look, even more new stuff!|
Grazey brings you SNDH update 4.7! So go grab it and don't forget to leave a comment on the blog!
|A happy new year to everyone!|
Look! Third post in one month - world record! Does this mean D-Bug is finally back in action? Who knows!
In the meantime GGN spent a couple of hours on new year's eve to make a pitifully small Falcon intro using a brand new TiNKer pic and an old tune by 505. It was planned to add snowflakes dancing but since it didn't snow in Greece he decided to go for realistic weather model instead ;) (that, or he ran out of time because he tried to do everything at the last minute). Get it here. In a bizarre twist of events an unknown person sent us a ST/STE version - grab it here. Here's also the Pouet link if you're so inclined to leave a comment!
|Not to be outdone by GGN's news, Showaddywaddy has made his first patch in 4 years! He starts his rebirth with Disc, a decent Tron like clone. Will this be the start of a more active period in the Automation / D-Bug journey.... we shall see.|
|Second news item in one year - wooo, we're on fire!|
Showaddywaddy and GGN attended Outline again and it was a blast! Not many Atari people or Atari activity in there but those who were there made it worthwhile. And while we were there we thought "Why don't we win the Atari demo compo?" ;). And so we did: HipSid, Grazey's brainchild that combined Mad Max tunes with SID voices, ranked first in the compo! You can read a very brief note about it on the SNDH blog. With about 10 hours of non-stop music action it is well worth a download!
GGN also attended Sommarhack, but with less one month to prepare something for the compo more complex endeavours weren't feasible.
With about a week or two left for the party, GGN got a request from Lotek Style of tSCc. Specifically, an old music disk by EKO called Epidemic has never behaved properly - the intro would run but the music selector would crash violently. A quick fix was made for it, yet many issues still remain: there is a lot of screen tearing on the 3D objects in the background which (given the short time frame) weren't apparent to fix. Also a tune was missing, and that's because this music disk appears to be a port of a PC music disk of the same name - the tune in question is an 8 channel .mod file, something that the player was not capable of playing. Fortunately Lotek managed to source a 4 channel version so cheers to him and the person that did the conversion (details are a bit sketchy, either the tune was converted using a tool or was hand fixed).
So with the music disk in a state of "works, not that great but at least it gets the job done" it was time to let it out for the world to yawn at (sorry!). However, since Sommarhack was just around the corner it looked silly not to release it during the party. And a release there without an intro looked quite poor, so something had to be done :). The initial design was to use an old and unfinished intro (from 2004 no less!) and just use an old tune. So I set out to debug the code, convert some old logos to monochrome, use an unreleased tune from Dubmood and just be done with it. But then something unexpected happened: after describing my idea to people, they sending me assets! XiA sent a 3 minutes and 30 seconds tune, TiNKer drew some tiled backgrounds. Now I actually had to put some effort in it - oh noes!
The whole ordeal took about 3 days, and it was finished 2 days before the party. Nothing exciting to say about these 2 days apart from having to join everything into something that wouldn't make people fall asleep. Somehow I suspect it was not too successful at that ;). One thing worth mentioning is that it works on both RGB and VGA and maintains proper sync with the music - not that many Falcon productions do that :). In any case it ranked 4th at the compo, and you can download it here and check it out for yourselves, or watch it on YouTube.
In other news, GGN and DML of TPT teamed up to bring new versions of the gcc compiler to the ST! Each had their own reasons to do this which is another story, but you can read more about the work and getting the files from an experimental blog/soapbox/call-it-what-you-will, Beyond Brown where a few people just dump their thoughts and texts in no particular order or discipline.
The year is not over yet so there might be something from us still, so stay tuned!
As for CJ? Well, he's quite happy in Jaguar land. Head over to the Atari Age forums if you want to say "hi" to him!
|Ever wondered what the mighty D-Bug web-server looks like? Well now you know, running on a state-of-the-art Raspberry Pi!|
|Here we are again - another Christmas! Could we let this be a dull celebration without any Atari?|
Of course not!
Here's a small demo we made in cooperation with Excellence in art and the lovely Acca! To our knowledge this is the first intro that is distributed in source code format only. To run it, you must assemble it! Fear not though, because we have bundled the assembler that was used to develop the intro (rmac) as well as a script that can assemble it. Hopefully it won't be a huge bother for people :).
It is dedicated to a very special person, we hope that the person in question sees it and likes it!
And that's it, merry Christmas and a Happy new year!