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Re: [cosmacelf] Re: EELF Upgrade to 512Kb

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  • Lee Hart
    ... RCA s text editor was pretty lame; I can t imagine using it on a 500k file! But the one I used on the Hughes HMDS 1802 development system was pretty
    Message 1 of 9 , Oct 1, 2005
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      Al Winfrey wrote:
      > Text editing? Lee, I'd probably have time to fix a pot of coffee
      > when you go to scroll or insert a line in near the top of a 500k
      > text file with an 1802 cpu, especially if you used a couple of
      > RCA's SCRT subroutines in your text editor...

      RCA's text editor was pretty lame; I can't imagine using it on a 500k
      file! But the one I used on the Hughes HMDS 1802 development system was
      pretty capable. It handled files up to the size of the disk (241k as I
      recall) what what seemed back then like reasonable speed.

      > as for games, I'm assuming you refer to text oriented basic games...

      Yes.

      > You should watch my old IMSAI 8080 pause when scrolling just a
      > "small" 32k text file in CP/M!

      I have an IMSAI 8080 as well! A 2 MHz 8080 running Wordstar is quite
      usable for big files. They are only "slow" in comparison to X GHz PCs. I
      can't type fast enough for the speed of even these antiques to matter.

      >> What we're really after for the 1802 is mass storage memory.

      > I agree with that. Bob already has a solution for the Elf 2k with
      > the CF interface doesn't he?

      Yes, someone did. Can't recall who just at the moment. But that strikes
      me as a good way to add memory; use it to simulate a disk drive.
      --
      *BE* the change that you wish to see in the world.
      -- Mahatma Gandhi
      --
      Lee A. Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, leeahart_at_earthlink.net
    • Al Winfrey
      Lee, I guess that I was referring to full-screen editors that spoil us all. Character editors can be coded to run quickly. The old CP/M editor can edit very
      Message 2 of 9 , Oct 1, 2005
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        Lee,

        I guess that I was referring to full-screen editors that spoil us all. Character editors can be
        coded to run quickly. The old CP/M editor can edit very large text files by keeping inactive
        segments on disk but retrieval is usually slow. One way to speed up text processing is to
        manage lines by pointer lists but that is still a lot of pointers for an 1802 to manage.

        We dont' really disagree. If 512K is what Zork needs then so be it. Mike, who writes a lot of
        neat applications also says that it helps and it doesn't really require that much extra
        hardware (these days anyway!)

        I'd better shut up before I anger someone with my "other" perspective! ;o)

        al
        ....

        --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, Lee Hart <leeahart@e...> wrote:
        > Al Winfrey wrote:
        > > Text editing? Lee, I'd probably have time to fix a pot of coffee
        > > when you go to scroll or insert a line in near the top of a 500k
        > > text file with an 1802 cpu, especially if you used a couple of
        > > RCA's SCRT subroutines in your text editor...
        >
        > RCA's text editor was pretty lame; I can't imagine using it on a 500k
        > file! But the one I used on the Hughes HMDS 1802 development system was
        > pretty capable. It handled files up to the size of the disk (241k as I
        > recall) what what seemed back then like reasonable speed.
        >
        > > as for games, I'm assuming you refer to text oriented basic games...
        >
        > Yes.
        >
        > > You should watch my old IMSAI 8080 pause when scrolling just a
        > > "small" 32k text file in CP/M!
        >
        > I have an IMSAI 8080 as well! A 2 MHz 8080 running Wordstar is quite
        > usable for big files. They are only "slow" in comparison to X GHz PCs. I
        > can't type fast enough for the speed of even these antiques to matter.
        >
        > >> What we're really after for the 1802 is mass storage memory.
        >
        > > I agree with that. Bob already has a solution for the Elf 2k with
        > > the CF interface doesn't he?
        >
        > Yes, someone did. Can't recall who just at the moment. But that strikes
        > me as a good way to add memory; use it to simulate a disk drive.
        > --
        > *BE* the change that you wish to see in the world.
        > -- Mahatma Gandhi
        > --
        > Lee A. Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, leeahart_at_earthlink.net
      • erd_6502
        ... Well... as an IF author and long-time Z-machine interpreter buff, the size of 512K was arrived at because a) I had some 512K SRAMs lying around from a
        Message 3 of 9 , Oct 2, 2005
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          --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, "Al Winfrey" <wa9hsl@a...> wrote:
          > We dont' really disagree. If 512K is what Zork needs then so be it.

          Well... as an IF author and long-time Z-machine interpreter buff, the
          size of 512K was arrived at because a) I had some 512K SRAMs lying
          around from a RAMdisk board for the SBC6120 that weren't getting used,
          and b) it was larger than the largest "v5" Z-machine game, permittng
          Mike to expand zrun3 to zrun5 and afford greater access to later
          Infcom game files and the wealth of modern (post 1997) IF works that
          happen to be written in Inform.

          zrun3 does use page-demand virtual memory to access only the parts of
          the game file that it needs at any one time, but there is a large
          block of impure storage (variable, item states, parse buffers, etc)
          that really ought to be held in RAM to avoid having to write lots of
          blocks on each and every command. The resident RAM requirements for
          v5 games (twice the game file size, more attribute bits, more
          properties, etc.) are significantly higher than for the old v3 games.
          The other advantage of enough resident storage is that the game files
          are inviolate - you write out all the impure storage to "save the
          game", but the original game file never changes. If you have to flush
          writable RAM pages, you need some sort of application-level paging file.

          Older v3 games were sold to run on the TRS-80, the Apple II, the C-64,
          etc. 32K is a bit tight, but it's possible, so we have zrun3 for
          ElfOS. By the time Infocom expanded to v5 games, the C-64 was one of
          the smaller platforms they still supported, and the real crunch wasn't
          the 64K of RAM, it was the 170K disk drives.

          Modern Inform games like my own ZDungeon tend to be well over 200K in
          size, but beyond the impure data portion, it's just more strings and
          more static code. There's plenty of room on a CF module for the game
          files, but now RAM is the limiting factor on an Elf, thus the plan for
          the bank-switched 512K expansion.

          That all having been said, I'd love to have an 1802 that would have
          this paged RAM scheme, but only because there's an actual proposed use
          for it - unlike the old days, as a hobbyist community, we _can_
          unleash a design that has features incorporated for a single use.
          That's not reasonable for a mass market product.

          -ethan
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