Demos for the TS2068 from Bratislava - Central Europe


Stano Hrda
 

Dear TS2068 friends,

as I acquired finally the TS2068 into my collection I asked my friend the skilled ZX Spectrum coder to port some of his demos for this interesting platform.

And now you can enjoy the first batch of 3 demos:

1st demo using still the ZX Spectrum ROM as add on to keep the code limit up to 1kB - using the plot routines from the ROM. Demo is able to autodetect the US TS2068 AY ports or portugal TC2048 standard Sinclair AY ports instead (when any AY capable interface is connected to this micro wired to the same AY port as original ZX Spectrum 128kB). SIL is abbreviation of Song In Lines name.
tmp.128.sk/Sil1kTimex.zip

2nd demo is targeted for the native TS2068 and the original ZX Spectrum ROM is not needed this time.
This demo uses special trick to get nice visual effect on real TV output compared to emulators running on the modern type of monitor.
tmp.128.sk/Toc1kTimex.rar


3rd demo is most advanced one and also for the native TS2068 platform - no Sinclair ROM needed.
Use the following keys to configure demo output according your wish: Caps Shift + 1 to 6 keys show instructions/key commands. Only Voodoo soundtracks are accessible via SymbolShift + A to K key press. FX soundtracks are removed due to memory limit compared to the ZX Spectrum 128kB.
tmp.128.sk/Sil5timex.rar

Kind regards

Stano


 

Thank you for joining and posting, Stano! I’m looking forward to checking these out on my 2068 :)

David




From: Stano Hrda <stano.hrda@...>
Reply: ts2068@groups.io <ts2068@groups.io>
Date: March 24, 2022 at 9:58:10 PM
To: ts2068@groups.io <ts2068@groups.io>
Subject:  [TS2068] Demos for the TS2068 from Bratislava - Central Europe

Dear TS2068 friends,

as I acquired finally the TS2068 into my collection I asked my friend the skilled ZX Spectrum coder to port some of his demos for this interesting platform.

And now you can enjoy the first batch of 3 demos:

1st demo using still the ZX Spectrum ROM as add on to keep the code limit up to 1kB - using the plot routines from the ROM. Demo is able to autodetect the US TS2068 AY ports or portugal TC2048 standard Sinclair AY ports instead (when any AY capable interface is connected to this micro wired to the same AY port as original ZX Spectrum 128kB). SIL is abbreviation of Song In Lines name.
tmp.128.sk/Sil1kTimex.zip

2nd demo is targeted for the native TS2068 and the original ZX Spectrum ROM is not needed this time.
This demo uses special trick to get nice visual effect on real TV output compared to emulators running on the modern type of monitor.
tmp.128.sk/Toc1kTimex.rar


3rd demo is most advanced one and also for the native TS2068 platform - no Sinclair ROM needed.
Use the following keys to configure demo output according your wish: Caps Shift + 1 to 6 keys show instructions/key commands. Only Voodoo soundtracks are accessible via SymbolShift + A to K key press. FX soundtracks are removed due to memory limit compared to the ZX Spectrum 128kB.
tmp.128.sk/Sil5timex.rar

Kind regards

Stano


--
My site about the Timex Sinclair computers has lots of useful information about the 2068:
https://www.timexsinclair.com/computers/timex-sinclair-2068/


Adam Trionfo
 

I'm glad to see that Stano has joined the TS2068 discussion forum on groups.io, as it's the only way that I interact with this Timex community. I also participate in the bi-monthly Timex Zoom meetings, but I think of those meetings as a completely different environment when compared to a discussion group or forum.

I believe that Stano is from Bratislava. I had no idea where that was until I looked it up today. Now I know it is in Slovakia... which is still sort of a mystery to me even after looking at a map. I suppose it would be the same for Stano if he looked up where I live in New Mexico. Or, maybe I'm just covering my my geographical ignorance.

I'll look into these three demos for the TS2068 (which sound fun!) either over the weekend or at the beginning of next week. If I get inspired, then I'll try to point my camera at my TV and make a quick video of one of the Demos running on my composite TV or HDMI monitor which is hooked up using my RGB connection from my TS2068. The problem with that becomes that you'll be able to see black lines on my TV because my camera's refresh rate won't match the TV.

I do have a direction question for Stano: Was the Spectrum popular in Slovakia or was it an underdog?

Adam

________________________________________
From: TS2068@groups.io <TS2068@groups.io> on behalf of Stano Hrda <stano.hrda@...>
Sent: Thursday, March 24, 2022 4:50 PM
To: TS2068@groups.io
Subject: [TS2068] Demos for the TS2068 from Bratislava - Central Europe

Dear TS2068 friends,

as I acquired finally the TS2068 into my collection I asked my friend the skilled ZX Spectrum coder to port some of his demos for this interesting platform.

And now you can enjoy the first batch of 3 demos:

1st demo using still the ZX Spectrum ROM as add on to keep the code limit up to 1kB - using the plot routines from the ROM. Demo is able to autodetect the US TS2068 AY ports or portugal TC2048 standard Sinclair AY ports instead (when any AY capable interface is connected to this micro wired to the same AY port as original ZX Spectrum 128kB). SIL is abbreviation of Song In Lines name.
tmp.128.sk/Sil1kTimex.zip<http://tmp.128.sk/Sil1kTimex.zip>

2nd demo is targeted for the native TS2068 and the original ZX Spectrum ROM is not needed this time.
This demo uses special trick to get nice visual effect on real TV output compared to emulators running on the modern type of monitor.
tmp.128.sk/Toc1kTimex.rar<http://tmp.128.sk/Toc1kTimex.rar>

3rd demo is most advanced one and also for the native TS2068 platform - no Sinclair ROM needed.
Use the following keys to configure demo output according your wish: Caps Shift + 1 to 6 keys show instructions/key commands. Only Voodoo soundtracks are accessible via SymbolShift + A to K key press. FX soundtracks are removed due to memory limit compared to the ZX Spectrum 128kB.
tmp.128.sk/Sil5timex.rar<http://tmp.128.sk/Sil5timex.rar>

Kind regards

Stano


Adam Trionfo
 

I was at first unable to download these demos for the T/S 2068.  It isn't that the links don't work; they are correct, but when I used Firefox with Windows 7, I got the following error when I tried to download the files:

"File not downloaded: potential security risk"

In the directory where I tried to save the files, I had the filenames, but each file was zero bytes. I was eventually able to download the files using this technique:


Has anyone else run these demos yet?

Adam



________________________________________
From: TS2068@groups.io <TS2068@groups.io> on behalf of Stano Hrda <stano.hrda@...>
Sent: Thursday, March 24, 2022 4:50 PM
To: TS2068@groups.io
Subject: [TS2068] Demos for the TS2068 from Bratislava - Central Europe

Dear TS2068 friends,

as I acquired finally the TS2068 into my collection I asked my friend the skilled ZX Spectrum coder to port some of his demos for this interesting platform.

And now you can enjoy the first batch of 3 demos:

1st demo using still the ZX Spectrum ROM as add on to keep the code limit up to 1kB - using the plot routines from the ROM. Demo is able to autodetect the US TS2068 AY ports or portugal TC2048 standard Sinclair AY ports instead (when any AY capable interface is connected to this micro wired to the same AY port as original ZX Spectrum 128kB). SIL is abbreviation of Song In Lines name.
tmp.128.sk/Sil1kTimex.zip<http://tmp.128.sk/Sil1kTimex.zip>

2nd demo is targeted for the native TS2068 and the original ZX Spectrum ROM is not needed this time.
This demo uses special trick to get nice visual effect on real TV output compared to emulators running on the modern type of monitor.
tmp.128.sk/Toc1kTimex.rar<http://tmp.128.sk/Toc1kTimex.rar>

3rd demo is most advanced one and also for the native TS2068 platform - no Sinclair ROM needed.
Use the following keys to configure demo output according your wish: Caps Shift + 1 to 6 keys show instructions/key commands. Only Voodoo soundtracks are accessible via SymbolShift + A to K key press. FX soundtracks are removed due to memory limit compared to the ZX Spectrum 128kB.
tmp.128.sk/Sil5timex.rar<http://tmp.128.sk/Sil5timex.rar>

Kind regards

Stano



 

Not yet but ran into the same problem on Chrome on my phone. 


On Mar 25, 2022, at 5:32 PM, Adam Trionfo <ballyalley@...> wrote:


I was at first unable to download these demos for the T/S 2068.  It isn't that the links don't work; they are correct, but when I used Firefox with Windows 7, I got the following error when I tried to download the files:

"File not downloaded: potential security risk"

In the directory where I tried to save the files, I had the filenames, but each file was zero bytes. I was eventually able to download the files using this technique:


Has anyone else run these demos yet?

Adam



________________________________________
From: TS2068@groups.io <TS2068@groups.io> on behalf of Stano Hrda <stano.hrda@...>
Sent: Thursday, March 24, 2022 4:50 PM
To: TS2068@groups.io
Subject: [TS2068] Demos for the TS2068 from Bratislava - Central Europe

Dear TS2068 friends,

as I acquired finally the TS2068 into my collection I asked my friend the skilled ZX Spectrum coder to port some of his demos for this interesting platform.

And now you can enjoy the first batch of 3 demos:

1st demo using still the ZX Spectrum ROM as add on to keep the code limit up to 1kB - using the plot routines from the ROM. Demo is able to autodetect the US TS2068 AY ports or portugal TC2048 standard Sinclair AY ports instead (when any AY capable interface is connected to this micro wired to the same AY port as original ZX Spectrum 128kB). SIL is abbreviation of Song In Lines name.
tmp.128.sk/Sil1kTimex.zip<http://tmp.128.sk/Sil1kTimex.zip>

2nd demo is targeted for the native TS2068 and the original ZX Spectrum ROM is not needed this time.
This demo uses special trick to get nice visual effect on real TV output compared to emulators running on the modern type of monitor.
tmp.128.sk/Toc1kTimex.rar<http://tmp.128.sk/Toc1kTimex.rar>

3rd demo is most advanced one and also for the native TS2068 platform - no Sinclair ROM needed.
Use the following keys to configure demo output according your wish: Caps Shift + 1 to 6 keys show instructions/key commands. Only Voodoo soundtracks are accessible via SymbolShift + A to K key press. FX soundtracks are removed due to memory limit compared to the ZX Spectrum 128kB.
tmp.128.sk/Sil5timex.rar<http://tmp.128.sk/Sil5timex.rar>

Kind regards

Stano



--
My site about the Timex Sinclair computers has lots of useful information about the 2068:
https://www.timexsinclair.com/computers/timex-sinclair-2068/


Adam Trionfo
 

I am currently running the "Sil1kTimex"demo on my real T/S 2068. I've attached a picture of it on my TV connected via composite and on my HDMI monitor connected via composite. This looks crystal clear on my RGB monitor. I don't notice any extra colors on the composite monitor.

This picture is meant to show that the demo works on NTSC hardware, but also that on the composite monitor, the black color is dark gray and not black, which is typical of software running on the T/S 2068 in the states. The graphics remind me of the screensaver called "Mystify Your Mind" in Windows 95. I guess the music sounds right at 60hz-- I'm not sure.

The sound is good, but tinny since it is playing through my internal speaker because I have no external audio-out on my T/S 2068. I wonder if this demo has any bass to it-- I'll never know unless someone here runs this on their T/S 2068 which has an audio-out mod. All music on my humble T/S 2068 sounds a bit silly without proper speakers, none-the-less I'm impressed with this demo.

Nice work!

Adam

________________________________________
From: TS2068@groups.io <TS2068@groups.io> on behalf of Stano Hrda <stano.hrda@...>
Sent: Thursday, March 24, 2022 4:50 PM
To: TS2068@groups.io
Subject: [TS2068] Demos for the TS2068 from Bratislava - Central Europe

Dear TS2068 friends,

as I acquired finally the TS2068 into my collection I asked my friend the skilled ZX Spectrum coder to port some of his demos for this interesting platform.

And now you can enjoy the first batch of 3 demos:

1st demo using still the ZX Spectrum ROM as add on to keep the code limit up to 1kB - using the plot routines from the ROM. Demo is able to autodetect the US TS2068 AY ports or portugal TC2048 standard Sinclair AY ports instead (when any AY capable interface is connected to this micro wired to the same AY port as original ZX Spectrum 128kB). SIL is abbreviation of Song In Lines name.
tmp.128.sk/Sil1kTimex.zip<http://tmp.128.sk/Sil1kTimex.zip>

2nd demo is targeted for the native TS2068 and the original ZX Spectrum ROM is not needed this time.
This demo uses special trick to get nice visual effect on real TV output compared to emulators running on the modern type of monitor.
tmp.128.sk/Toc1kTimex.rar<http://tmp.128.sk/Toc1kTimex.rar>

3rd demo is most advanced one and also for the native TS2068 platform - no Sinclair ROM needed.
Use the following keys to configure demo output according your wish: Caps Shift + 1 to 6 keys show instructions/key commands. Only Voodoo soundtracks are accessible via SymbolShift + A to K key press. FX soundtracks are removed due to memory limit compared to the ZX Spectrum 128kB.
tmp.128.sk/Sil5timex.rar<http://tmp.128.sk/Sil5timex.rar>

Kind regards

Stano


David Ellis
 

Downloading with Chrome on Windows 10, I have to use right click and select save and it warns but you have the option to continue to save the file


Adam Trionfo
 

I have run "Toc1kTimex" demo on my T/S 2068. This one doesn't require the Spectrum ROM; it runs as-is in Timex-mode (if that's the right word for it). This one has the extra effects that were mentioned that only be seen on a real TV, but not under emulation. I notice that these effects also can't be seen on my RGB monitor, but the TV, hooked up using composite video, shows these extra effects quite nicely.

These five attached pictures don't do the demo any justice as you must see this one in motion, but the pictures will give you an example of what you're in for when you start this one.

Notice that in a few of the pictures there is screen-tearing at the top of the picture on the RGB monitor. I've seen this a few times when using the HDMI monitor hooked up using the RGB converter on David's RGB board. I'm not sure if this would happen on a real RGB monitor like my Amiga 1080 monitor. I guess I'll find out soon, for Carl is making a cable for me to connect my TS2068 to this CRT RGB monitor.

Less noticeable in these pictures is the screen-tearing on the TV hooked up via composite. It's not nearly as bad as it is on the RGB monitor, but it's still quite noticeable. Maybe this is an issue with NTSC vs. PAL timing?

I'm off to a brewery with my wife for-- if we can manage it-- some time in the sun on a rooftop this evening. I'll try the last demo in the next couple of days.

I encourage everyone to load these demos onto real hardware an give them a go; they're fun and it's wonderful to see this demo running without the Spectrum ROM on my Timex/Sinclair 2068. If anyone can get video of this demo running, either using a camera or a direct-connect capture card, with good sound that doesn't use the built-in speaker then I'd love to see it.

Adam



________________________________________
From: TS2068@groups.io <TS2068@groups.io> on behalf of Adam Trionfo <ballyalley@...>
Sent: Friday, March 25, 2022 2:56 PM
To: TS2068@groups.io
Subject: Re: [TS2068] Demos for the TS2068 from Bratislava - Central Europe

I am currently running the "Sil1kTimex"demo on my real T/S 2068. I've attached a picture of it on my TV connected via composite and on my HDMI monitor connected via composite. This looks crystal clear on my RGB monitor. I don't notice any extra colors on the composite monitor.

This picture is meant to show that the demo works on NTSC hardware, but also that on the composite monitor, the black color is dark gray and not black, which is typical of software running on the T/S 2068 in the states. The graphics remind me of the screensaver called "Mystify Your Mind" in Windows 95. I guess the music sounds right at 60hz-- I'm not sure.

The sound is good, but tinny since it is playing through my internal speaker because I have no external audio-out on my T/S 2068. I wonder if this demo has any bass to it-- I'll never know unless someone here runs this on their T/S 2068 which has an audio-out mod. All music on my humble T/S 2068 sounds a bit silly without proper speakers, none-the-less I'm impressed with this demo.

Nice work!

Adam

________________________________________
From: TS2068@groups.io <TS2068@groups.io> on behalf of Stano Hrda <stano.hrda@...>
Sent: Thursday, March 24, 2022 4:50 PM
To: TS2068@groups.io
Subject: [TS2068] Demos for the TS2068 from Bratislava - Central Europe

Dear TS2068 friends,

as I acquired finally the TS2068 into my collection I asked my friend the skilled ZX Spectrum coder to port some of his demos for this interesting platform.

And now you can enjoy the first batch of 3 demos:

1st demo using still the ZX Spectrum ROM as add on to keep the code limit up to 1kB - using the plot routines from the ROM. Demo is able to autodetect the US TS2068 AY ports or portugal TC2048 standard Sinclair AY ports instead (when any AY capable interface is connected to this micro wired to the same AY port as original ZX Spectrum 128kB). SIL is abbreviation of Song In Lines name.
tmp.128.sk/Sil1kTimex.zip<http://tmp.128.sk/Sil1kTimex.zip>

2nd demo is targeted for the native TS2068 and the original ZX Spectrum ROM is not needed this time.
This demo uses special trick to get nice visual effect on real TV output compared to emulators running on the modern type of monitor.
tmp.128.sk/Toc1kTimex.rar<http://tmp.128.sk/Toc1kTimex.rar>

3rd demo is most advanced one and also for the native TS2068 platform - no Sinclair ROM needed.
Use the following keys to configure demo output according your wish: Caps Shift + 1 to 6 keys show instructions/key commands. Only Voodoo soundtracks are accessible via SymbolShift + A to K key press. FX soundtracks are removed due to memory limit compared to the ZX Spectrum 128kB.
tmp.128.sk/Sil5timex.rar<http://tmp.128.sk/Sil5timex.rar>

Kind regards

Stano


Stano Hrda
 

Thanks for trying our demo. The music on the native Timex 2068 is running probably 20% faster then on the original ZX Spectrum 128kB. But who know the difference. There was no time to change the timing routines in the demo. It was just quick port. :D


Stano Hrda
 

Dear Adam, thanks for trying our demos. Would be nice to see it on your video in real US environment running. :D

The ZX Spectrum got the cult status in 80s in former Czechoslovakia which peacefully after Velvet revolution in 89 leaving the soviet sattelite area and somehow split into Czech republic and Slovakia, both members of European Union now with very friendly relationship to each other. The ZX Spectrum got it's popularity mostly because a few people allowed to cross Iron Curtain had small budget to import some new micros. And the ZX Spectrum got all the advantages - small one, easy to pick and travel back as tourist, easy to smuggle it trough customs asking for expensive import taxes, and due to the minimalistic architecture easily to clone. Some clones were DYI projects with workaround to implement the only proprietary ULA chip in a dozen generic dicrete more easily to grab chips. And one domestic company even produced a local factory produced clone. According some sources from statistics department in 1988 there were around 250 000 home computers in Czechoslovakian households in the country of 15 milion people and the majority the ZX Spectrum incarnations either original or cloned ones. The second most popular computer was Atari XL/XE range imported by some miracle by official trade import company. Jack Tramiel owning the Atari company then got probably a sweet spot for Czechoslovakia because the Commodore company started as typewriter company in 50s using the Czechoslovak typewriter schemes and patents. Maybe because Jack Tramiel was emigrant from Poland and knew those machines well from the past.

I was happy teenager then in the 80s collecting pocet money for 3 years to get second hand ZX Spectrum 48kB. I hated the communist regime unable to produce a real usable home computer. So we must wait until some individuals imported them and were selling them for very expensive prices in local adverts. There was no copyright legislation, no shops with video games, so we pirated british originals and played plenty of ZX Spectrum games for free. But on the other hand nobody could establish company selling games in the planned communist economy, so adults programmed only blatant copies of US mini computers made in soviet bloc for organisations. And the local games were programmed only as homebrew software made by teenagers only. Not for profit, but just for fun and to amuse the community of friends. I and friends picked the name of fictive company Sybilasoft and we programmed a few text adventure games for the ZX Spectrum. Those were recently translated to english for the worldwide auditorium. You can probably try them on TS2068 with the ZX Spectrum ROM attached. They are available here for download in TAP format.:
https://www.theverge.com/22882705/slovak-design-museum-classic-game-preservation-1980s

But as a new TS2068 owner and user I would like to ask how can I use the joystick port? I tried to burn Montezuma revenge game on cart and attached the standard 9pin Atari joystick. But I have no response in the game. Should I use some special type of joystick? Or any other game? I downloaded a few games from some dedicated TS2068 web sites, so I have probably all of them existing now.

Stano


 

Thank you for this detailed history, Stano! It’s fascinating to see how popular and successful the ZX Spectrum was in other countries, especially in the former Soviet Union. In recent years we’ve seen a lot of Spectrum clones and have learned a little bit but this kind of personal history is not often shared.

David

On March 26, 2022 at 12:22:59 PM, Stano Hrda (stano.hrda@...) wrote:

Dear Adam, thanks for trying our demos. Would be nice to see it on your video in real US environment running. :D

The ZX Spectrum got the cult status in 80s in former Czechoslovakia which peacefully after Velvet revolution in 89 leaving the soviet sattelite area and somehow split into Czech republic and Slovakia, both members of European Union now with very friendly relationship to each other. The ZX Spectrum got it's popularity mostly because a few people allowed to cross Iron Curtain had small budget to import some new micros. And the ZX Spectrum got all the advantages - small one, easy to pick and travel back as tourist, easy to smuggle it trough customs asking for expensive import taxes, and due to the minimalistic architecture easily to clone. Some clones were DYI projects with workaround to implement the only proprietary ULA chip in a dozen generic dicrete more easily to grab chips. And one domestic company even produced a local factory produced clone. According some sources from statistics department in 1988 there were around 250 000 home computers in Czechoslovakian households in the country of 15 milion people and the majority the ZX Spectrum incarnations either original or cloned ones. The second most popular computer was Atari XL/XE range imported by some miracle by official trade import company. Jack Tramiel owning the Atari company then got probably a sweet spot for Czechoslovakia because the Commodore company started as typewriter company in 50s using the Czechoslovak typewriter schemes and patents. Maybe because Jack Tramiel was emigrant from Poland and knew those machines well from the past.

I was happy teenager then in the 80s collecting pocet money for 3 years to get second hand ZX Spectrum 48kB. I hated the communist regime unable to produce a real usable home computer. So we must wait until some individuals imported them and were selling them for very expensive prices in local adverts. There was no copyright legislation, no shops with video games, so we pirated british originals and played plenty of ZX Spectrum games for free. But on the other hand nobody could establish company selling games in the planned communist economy, so adults programmed only blatant copies of US mini computers made in soviet bloc for organisations. And the local games were programmed only as homebrew software made by teenagers only. Not for profit, but just for fun and to amuse the community of friends. I and friends picked the name of fictive company Sybilasoft and we programmed a few text adventure games for the ZX Spectrum. Those were recently translated to english for the worldwide auditorium. You can probably try them on TS2068 with the ZX Spectrum ROM attached. They are available here for download in TAP format.:
https://www.theverge.com/22882705/slovak-design-museum-classic-game-preservation-1980s

But as a new TS2068 owner and user I would like to ask how can I use the joystick port? I tried to burn Montezuma revenge game on cart and attached the standard 9pin Atari joystick. But I have no response in the game. Should I use some special type of joystick? Or any other game? I downloaded a few games from some dedicated TS2068 web sites, so I have probably all of them existing now.

Stano

--
My site about the Timex Sinclair computers has lots of useful information about the 2068:
https://www.timexsinclair.com/computers/timex-sinclair-2068/


Adam Trionfo
 

I'm finally giving a proper reply to Stano's post about his computer background and, to me, the unusual Spectrum clones.  Stano's words were exciting to read.

Stano's history reminded me of an article called "Home Computers Behind The Iron Curtain" from 2014 by Martin Malý.  If you enjoyed Stano's background, then I think that you'll enjoy this article too:


Also, reading Stano's background gave me more reason to read the book published by MIT Press in 2018 called "Gaming the Iron Curtain: How Teenagers and Amateurs in Communist Czechoslovakia Claimed the Medium of Computer Games" by Jaroslav Svelch.  I've now added this book to my InterLibrary Loan list.  It might be months before I can even request this book.  For others that want to know about the book, or want to buy it, then it's on amazon, here:


or read more about it, here:


I have heard about some of these classic Slovak games that now have translations that can be downloaded in TAP format from the Slovak Design Museum’s website:


I believe I heard about these game translations on a podcast that I listen to on a regular basis, but I can't remember which one it was featured on when I heard it.

I would like to try at least one of these games that are in the translated archive that I downloaded this afternoon.  The included games are:

Agent 99
Bukapao
Fuksoft
Kewin2
Monsoreau
Pepsi Cola
Perfect Murder
Satochin
Super Discus
TheStig4
ZX-fuksoft

One of these games (ZX-fuksoft) looks like it is for the Atari 8-bit computers, but the others probably all run on the Spectrum.

Stano, which one or two games do you recommend that I try playing first on my real T/S 2068 with my Spectrum ROM given that I'm looking for a game or two that will be the most approachable and understandable to someone who doesn't know the politics of the 1980s except in a general manner?

Adam




________________________________________
From: TS2068@groups.io <TS2068@groups.io> on behalf of Stano Hrda <stano.hrda@...>
Sent: Saturday, March 26, 2022 9:22 AM
To: TS2068@groups.io
Subject: Re: [TS2068] Demos for the TS2068 from Bratislava - Central Europe

Dear Adam, thanks for trying our demos. Would be nice to see it on your video in real US environment running. :D

The ZX Spectrum got the cult status in 80s in former Czechoslovakia which peacefully after Velvet revolution in 89 leaving the soviet sattelite area and somehow split into Czech republic and Slovakia, both members of European Union now with very friendly relationship to each other. The ZX Spectrum got it's popularity mostly because a few people allowed to cross Iron Curtain had small budget to import some new micros. And the ZX Spectrum got all the advantages - small one, easy to pick and travel back as tourist, easy to smuggle it trough customs asking for expensive import taxes, and due to the minimalistic architecture easily to clone. Some clones were DYI projects with workaround to implement the only proprietary ULA chip in a dozen generic dicrete more easily to grab chips. And one domestic company even produced a local factory produced clone. According some sources from statistics department in 1988 there were around 250 000 home computers in Czechoslovakian households in the country of 15 milion people and the majority the ZX Spectrum incarnations either original or cloned ones. The second most popular computer was Atari XL/XE range imported by some miracle by official trade import company. Jack Tramiel owning the Atari company then got probably a sweet spot for Czechoslovakia because the Commodore company started as typewriter company in 50s using the Czechoslovak typewriter schemes and patents. Maybe because Jack Tramiel was emigrant from Poland and knew those machines well from the past.

I was happy teenager then in the 80s collecting pocet money for 3 years to get second hand ZX Spectrum 48kB. I hated the communist regime unable to produce a real usable home computer. So we must wait until some individuals imported them and were selling them for very expensive prices in local adverts. There was no copyright legislation, no shops with video games, so we pirated british originals and played plenty of ZX Spectrum games for free. But on the other hand nobody could establish company selling games in the planned communist economy, so adults programmed only blatant copies of US mini computers made in soviet bloc for organisations. And the local games were programmed only as homebrew software made by teenagers only. Not for profit, but just for fun and to amuse the community of friends. I and friends picked the name of fictive company Sybilasoft and we programmed a few text adventure games for the ZX Spectrum. Those were recently translated to english for the worldwide auditorium. You can probably try them on TS2068 with the ZX Spectrum ROM attached. They are available here for download in TAP format.:
https://www.theverge.com/22882705/slovak-design-museum-classic-game-preservation-1980s

But as a new TS2068 owner and user I would like to ask how can I use the joystick port? I tried to burn Montezuma revenge game on cart and attached the standard 9pin Atari joystick. But I have no response in the game. Should I use some special type of joystick? Or any other game? I downloaded a few games from some dedicated TS2068 web sites, so I have probably all of them existing now.

Stano


 

Adam,

I was thinking the same thing about the podcast. Maybe it was that show that was on NPR a few weeks ago? The fuksoft makes me think so.


On Mar 29, 2022, at 4:24 PM, Adam Trionfo <ballyalley@...> wrote:


I'm finally giving a proper reply to Stano's post about his computer background and, to me, the unusual Spectrum clones.  Stano's words were exciting to read.

Stano's history reminded me of an article called "Home Computers Behind The Iron Curtain" from 2014 by Martin Malý.  If you enjoyed Stano's background, then I think that you'll enjoy this article too:


Also, reading Stano's background gave me more reason to read the book published by MIT Press in 2018 called "Gaming the Iron Curtain: How Teenagers and Amateurs in Communist Czechoslovakia Claimed the Medium of Computer Games" by Jaroslav Svelch.  I've now added this book to my InterLibrary Loan list.  It might be months before I can even request this book.  For others that want to know about the book, or want to buy it, then it's on amazon, here:


or read more about it, here:


I have heard about some of these classic Slovak games that now have translations that can be downloaded in TAP format from the Slovak Design Museum’s website:


I believe I heard about these game translations on a podcast that I listen to on a regular basis, but I can't remember which one it was featured on when I heard it.

I would like to try at least one of these games that are in the translated archive that I downloaded this afternoon.  The included games are:

Agent 99
Bukapao
Fuksoft
Kewin2
Monsoreau
Pepsi Cola
Perfect Murder
Satochin
Super Discus
TheStig4
ZX-fuksoft

One of these games (ZX-fuksoft) looks like it is for the Atari 8-bit computers, but the others probably all run on the Spectrum.

Stano, which one or two games do you recommend that I try playing first on my real T/S 2068 with my Spectrum ROM given that I'm looking for a game or two that will be the most approachable and understandable to someone who doesn't know the politics of the 1980s except in a general manner?

Adam




________________________________________
From: TS2068@groups.io <TS2068@groups.io> on behalf of Stano Hrda <stano.hrda@...>
Sent: Saturday, March 26, 2022 9:22 AM
To: TS2068@groups.io
Subject: Re: [TS2068] Demos for the TS2068 from Bratislava - Central Europe

Dear Adam, thanks for trying our demos. Would be nice to see it on your video in real US environment running. :D

The ZX Spectrum got the cult status in 80s in former Czechoslovakia which peacefully after Velvet revolution in 89 leaving the soviet sattelite area and somehow split into Czech republic and Slovakia, both members of European Union now with very friendly relationship to each other. The ZX Spectrum got it's popularity mostly because a few people allowed to cross Iron Curtain had small budget to import some new micros. And the ZX Spectrum got all the advantages - small one, easy to pick and travel back as tourist, easy to smuggle it trough customs asking for expensive import taxes, and due to the minimalistic architecture easily to clone. Some clones were DYI projects with workaround to implement the only proprietary ULA chip in a dozen generic dicrete more easily to grab chips. And one domestic company even produced a local factory produced clone. According some sources from statistics department in 1988 there were around 250 000 home computers in Czechoslovakian households in the country of 15 milion people and the majority the ZX Spectrum incarnations either original or cloned ones. The second most popular computer was Atari XL/XE range imported by some miracle by official trade import company. Jack Tramiel owning the Atari company then got probably a sweet spot for Czechoslovakia because the Commodore company started as typewriter company in 50s using the Czechoslovak typewriter schemes and patents. Maybe because Jack Tramiel was emigrant from Poland and knew those machines well from the past.

I was happy teenager then in the 80s collecting pocet money for 3 years to get second hand ZX Spectrum 48kB. I hated the communist regime unable to produce a real usable home computer. So we must wait until some individuals imported them and were selling them for very expensive prices in local adverts. There was no copyright legislation, no shops with video games, so we pirated british originals and played plenty of ZX Spectrum games for free. But on the other hand nobody could establish company selling games in the planned communist economy, so adults programmed only blatant copies of US mini computers made in soviet bloc for organisations. And the local games were programmed only as homebrew software made by teenagers only. Not for profit, but just for fun and to amuse the community of friends. I and friends picked the name of fictive company Sybilasoft and we programmed a few text adventure games for the ZX Spectrum. Those were recently translated to english for the worldwide auditorium. You can probably try them on TS2068 with the ZX Spectrum ROM attached. They are available here for download in TAP format.:
https://www.theverge.com/22882705/slovak-design-museum-classic-game-preservation-1980s

But as a new TS2068 owner and user I would like to ask how can I use the joystick port? I tried to burn Montezuma revenge game on cart and attached the standard 9pin Atari joystick. But I have no response in the game. Should I use some special type of joystick? Or any other game? I downloaded a few games from some dedicated TS2068 web sites, so I have probably all of them existing now.

Stano


--
My site about the Timex Sinclair computers has lots of useful information about the 2068:
https://www.timexsinclair.com/computers/timex-sinclair-2068/


Adam Trionfo
 

I had the opportunity to try the "Sil5timex" demo today. First off, this demo is impressive.

No, it's...

Awesome!

That's not even close, really it is...

Incredible!

Come on, you know what I mean...

Run this program. Now!

Are you still reading this post to the group?!? Why are you waiting to try it? Really, load this demo on your real Timex/Sinclair 2068. For those who don't know how to covert a TAP file to the WAV format, then you'll see that I've attached a WAV version of "Sil5timex" that can be loaded from a computer into your Timex computer. This zipped archive is about 82K, but when it's unzipped you'll find that it is about 5MB. The file is called Sil5timex_WAV.zip.

I've attached 17 pictures of this demo running to this post, but I'm not sure if they'll all come through to the discussion group, but I hope that they do arrive. Sorry, but the pictures are rather poor quality. My camera has a hard time adjusting to the lighting.

As always, you need to see this demo in motion. I've been playing with it for about forty minutes so far and I'm still finding new neat tricks that are offered via the choices a user can make while the program is running.

Stano said that Caps Shift + 1 to 6 brings up the menus, but that's a mistake. To see the menus/instructions, you must use Symbol Shift + 1 to 6. The English menu is accessed with 1, 2, or 3. The non-English menu is brought up with 4, 5 or 6. There are an enormous amount of choices to try as the demo is running. I've tried them all, one at a time. However, I've noticed that these can be combined, so really there are many more choices than at first is apparent when running this demo.

I did notice that turning off the music doesn't work right. Instead, this choice freezes the sound that is playing. The only way to escape from this stuck-on noise is to choose a new song by pressing Symbol Shift + A to J. That's right, you get a choice of ten different songs, and you can mess around with their speed. You can change the number of objects that are moving on the screen at once from 1 to 9. I like about five objects best, otherwise the screen gets too chaotic, but it doesn't slow down the movement even with nine objects zipping around the screen. How was this done?!?

I really want to record this demo on video, but I won't be able to do it any justice at all. Still, Stano did request that I try to make a video, so I'll see if I can get some sort of usable recording. I'm sure some others must have a better method to record this demo. If you do, then please give it a try.

Okay, enough. Now go try this demo. If you don't have a real T/S 2068, then I'm sure it works under emulation, but I have not tried running it on an emulator.

Thanks for posting these three demos, Stano!

Adam





USil5timex_WAV.zip


 

You’ve inspired me, Adam. I have an HDMI capture device on my computer. I’m going to give this a whirl tonight and capture if I can.

On Mar 29, 2022, at 6:11 PM, Adam Trionfo <ballyalley@...> wrote:

I had the opportunity to try the "Sil5timex" demo today. First off, this demo is impressive.

No, it's...

Awesome!

That's not even close, really it is...

Incredible!

Come on, you know what I mean...

Run this program. Now!

Are you still reading this post to the group?!? Why are you waiting to try it? Really, load this demo on your real Timex/Sinclair 2068. For those who don't know how to covert a TAP file to the WAV format, then you'll see that I've attached a WAV version of "Sil5timex" that can be loaded from a computer into your Timex computer. This zipped archive is about 82K, but when it's unzipped you'll find that it is about 5MB. The file is called Sil5timex_WAV.zip.

I've attached 17 pictures of this demo running to this post, but I'm not sure if they'll all come through to the discussion group, but I hope that they do arrive. Sorry, but the pictures are rather poor quality. My camera has a hard time adjusting to the lighting.

As always, you need to see this demo in motion. I've been playing with it for about forty minutes so far and I'm still finding new neat tricks that are offered via the choices a user can make while the program is running.

Stano said that Caps Shift + 1 to 6 brings up the menus, but that's a mistake. To see the menus/instructions, you must use Symbol Shift + 1 to 6. The English menu is accessed with 1, 2, or 3. The non-English menu is brought up with 4, 5 or 6. There are an enormous amount of choices to try as the demo is running. I've tried them all, one at a time. However, I've noticed that these can be combined, so really there are many more choices than at first is apparent when running this demo.

I did notice that turning off the music doesn't work right. Instead, this choice freezes the sound that is playing. The only way to escape from this stuck-on noise is to choose a new song by pressing Symbol Shift + A to J. That's right, you get a choice of ten different songs, and you can mess around with their speed. You can change the number of objects that are moving on the screen at once from 1 to 9. I like about five objects best, otherwise the screen gets too chaotic, but it doesn't slow down the movement even with nine objects zipping around the screen. How was this done?!?

I really want to record this demo on video, but I won't be able to do it any justice at all. Still, Stano did request that I try to make a video, so I'll see if I can get some sort of usable recording. I'm sure some others must have a better method to record this demo. If you do, then please give it a try.

Okay, enough. Now go try this demo. If you don't have a real T/S 2068, then I'm sure it works under emulation, but I have not tried running it on an emulator.

Thanks for posting these three demos, Stano!

Adam





USil5timex_WAV.zip




--
My site about the Timex Sinclair computers has lots of useful information about the 2068:
https://www.timexsinclair.com/computers/timex-sinclair-2068/


Adam Trionfo
 

I'm glad that I've inspired David to record the "Sil5timex" demo. Be sure to try playing around with the many different options while the demo is running. I hope that David is somehow also able to capture the sound of this demo in a quality way. Maybe he has a T/S 2068 with audio-out. I bet that there is some bass going on during the music, but my itty-bitty speaker in the system doesn't give any good indication of the true sound of the music.

My capture devices never agreed with the signals from my T/S 2068 computer, either the composite, RF or the RGB-out via HDMI. The screen would either roll or not sync at all (the capture would be black). Eventually, I crashed my AVerMedia Live device and I've never been able to get it working again. I hope David has better luck capturing video. I can't wait to see what he is able to share with us all.

Adam


Adam Trionfo
 

Here is some information to keep in mind about the "Sil5timex" demo for when David is making his video of the T/S 2068 port of this demo.  The demo is actually called "Song in Lines 5."  I wish I knew what that meant.  This data is from the Readme file, followed by some additional information and links to some videos I found:

:::::::::::::::::::::
:: Song in lines 5 ::
:::::::::::::::::::::

Graphic and music relaxation

 Graphic: Busy
   Music: Voodoo

 Original ZX48k version: 30.11.1991
   Timex TC2068 version: 23.03.2022

This is a special port of Sil5/48
for Timex TC2068 with AY on ports #F5/#F6

Does not need original ZX ROM.
Uses standart ZX Spectrum graphic mode.

This demo is MUCH older than I thought it was when I watched it.  It dates back to 1991!  However, I did find a video of this original version, and there seems to many differences in it.  Here is that video (it runs 1 hour and 42 minutes; I only very, VERY briefly skimmed it):

Sinclair ZX Spectrum 128K - Music DEMO - Song in Lines 5 - 1991. AY - ACBпрограмма - BUSY SOFT (Slavomir Labsky) (Словакия)музыка - FUXOFT (Frantisek Fuka) &...
www.youtube.com
Here is the search I ran on YouTube to pull up other variations of this video:


What's interesting, if I were to follow a demo rabbit hole (which I won't do here), then I'd watch all these other Spectrum demos posted by the same person, "ZX Pentagon 128k."  This person's videos are here:


I just watched a minute or so of some of these videos; they're impressive!

From what I can tell, which isn't much, as the languages aren't posted inEnglish, so the descriptions don't help me, but I THINK that these are some variations of "Songs in Line 5."  Here are links to a few of them (I guess these would work on the TC 2068...?):

1) Song In Lines 5-48 - Busy [#zx spectrum AY Music Demo] - 23 Minutes

Скачать (download):https://zxaaa.net/view_demo.php?id=1977http://zxdemo.ru/ - закрытый клуб спектрумистовhttp://zxaaa.net - сайт с DEMO ZX Spectrum
www.youtube.com

2) Song In Lines 5 - Busy/Russell [#zx spectrum AY Music Demo] - 49 Minutes

Скачать (download):https://zxaaa.net/view_demo.php?id=1980http://zxdemo.ru/ - закрытый клуб спектрумистовhttp://zxaaa.net - сайт с DEMO ZX Spectrum
www.youtube.com

3) Song in Lines 5 (ZX Spectrum) - 26 Minutes

Year of release: 1991Publisher: Busy Software (Slovakia)Author: Slavomir LabskyAppeared on side A of electronic magazine Outlet issue 100 (Outlet)
www.youtube.com

As far as I can tell, skipping and skimming through these videos, no one changes any of the demo options that are available on the menus (at least in the T/S 2068 version).  Or, maybe those menus aren't included in these other versions...?  I'm rather at a loss here.  I'm just enjoying the music.

Okay, maybe I fell into a rabbit hole, after all...?

Adam