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Mark Vergeer's picture

Absolute Inebriation (Amiga)(Demo)(Scene)(PAL)


Dug out the old Amiga 1200 and hooked it up for a bit of demo watching and gaming. I have a PCMCIA compact flash adapter installed as well as a compact flash IDE interface booting into a very nice setup of Workbench and WHDLoader that allows me to run a plethora of games and demos. Here I load up one of my favourite demos created by Fairlight, quite a prolific demo-group on the various systems that can be found within the Commodore range of home computers.

This recording is done from the composite video signal. A nicer RGB signal can be taken from the Amiga but I was not able to hook that up properly for the recording of this video.

Demos really show what machines are capable of and the sounds and visuals often are quite artistic and can sometimes compete with the creations of serious graphic design students/professionals.

To this day, demos are being created on various computers and consoles often containing the various elements seen in this wonderful example. Having grown up with these home computer systems and coding myself it is fun to see how the various programmers 'evolved' and learned new techniques often typically absorbed during college computer science and math classes, resulting in even better demos.

Enjoy! And Kudos to the people from Fairlight for making this wonderful demo. I've been enjoying it a long time and will continue to do so for a long time!

Mark Vergeer's picture

SV-328 Microcomputer - pickup / lot


I got myself a new system (SV-328) in a pretty complete lot. Mind you I was pretty tired when I filmed this so bare with me. Check out what I got.

Spectravideo, or SVI, founded in 1981 as "SpectraVision" by Harry Fox was a US based firm. SVI originally made video games for the VIC-20 and Atari 2600 consoles. They also made Atari compatible joysticks and many C64s actually were completed with a set of Spectravideo joysticks. Some of the later computers were MSX-compliant and some even IBM PC compatible. SVI folded in 1988.

The SV-328 is an 8-bit home computer introduced by Spectravideo in June 1983. It was the business-targeted model, sporting a full-travel keyboard with numeric keypad. Making it look like a professional machine that could compete with the big professional systems out there. It has 80 kB RAM (64 kB available for software & 16 kB video memory). Other than the keyboard and RAM, this machine was identical to its predecessor, the SV-318.
The SV-328 is the design on which the later MSX standard was based. Spectravideo's MSX-compliant successor to the 328, the SV-728, looks almost identical, the only immediately noticeable differences being a larger cartridge slot in the central position (to fit MSX standard cartridges), lighter shaded keyboard and the MSX labels.

Mark Vergeer's picture

Xbox One in Europe - 50hz issue / Suffers from 50Hz TV integration

XboxoneXbox OneCustomers in European countries lucky enough to be able to use the Xbox One have been complaining about stuttering images when connecting a tuner through the HMDI through function. Since the dawn of time, European TV broadcasts have used 50hz and the Xbox One can only output 60Hz. This causes unwanted issues. With the switch to HD one would think that 50Hz has gone away, but for European TV - even in Full HD - it is still there.

Now, for years, PAL TV sets have been able to display both 50Hz and 60Hz, and most modern games offer PAL60, but because the Xbox One can't do 50Hz, passed through 50Hz images stutter because of incomplete frame rate conversions.

Seems a little oversight of the boys over at Microsoft. So the media centre thing seems to be something that doesn't cause a lot of joy right now. The issue creeps up most with panning and horizontal movements. Sports have been commented on as being unwatchable. Let's hope this can be fixed with a firmware or software update.

Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark Plays... Some VIC-20 Classics (1hr extravaganza)


In this video I play quite a few of the classic arcade ports and well known games on the Commodore VIC-20. I grabbed the footage using a Pioneer HD-DVD-Recorder that allows me to grab the footage on the HD or directly on CD-R, DVD-R or DVD-RW. I use the latter so I can reuse the disc after I imported the files off the disc (a simple copy of the mpg stream) into

Okay it turned into an over an hour long extravaganza playing the games until the first game over and me babbling about the gameplay and the technology involved. Read more below...

Mark Vergeer's picture

ZX Spectrum - 55 minutes of Speccy Galore including real time tape loading!

RetroGamerVX has challenged us to make Spectrum themed videos this week in honor of the ZX Spectrum's 30th birthday. Of course all I could do is comply to escape the wrath of my Evil Twin from the UK. Read more below...

Bill Loguidice's picture

Quick Thoughts on One Nice Way to Convert SCART (PAL/SECAM) in the US (and G7401/Odyssey3 comments)

As any hardcore videogame and computer collector knows, there are many intriguing classic systems out there worthy of your time that never made it to your home territory. One of the biggest challenges when importing vintage systems from foreign countries is having the necessary hardware on hand to convert either or both of the power (voltage) and video (television standard) connections.

With vintage Japanese systems in the US, it's fairly trivial to use those systems here. Generally speaking, the video signal is the same - though you may have to tune in a weird channel if you're stuck using an RF connection - and power requirements are similar, generally 100-110v to our 110-120v. While you can usually get away with just plugging a Japanese system direct into a US outlet, a simple power converter is still recommended in some situations. With vintage European systems, it's not nearly as straightforward, since they use a completely different television standard and power requirements usually run 220-240v, so you need to do double conversions. On top of that, plugs for both video and power are often unusual shapes and may require yet another adapter.

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